Why Is My Cat Losing Weight

By Mariya Akhtar

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Weight loss in cats may indicate a health issue that needs attention. Some weight fluctuation is normal, but unexplained weight loss requires veterinary attention. Here are some reasons your cat may be losing weight:

1. Poor Diet or Malnutrition

Inadequate nutrition or poor-quality diet can lead to weight loss in cats. If your cat is not consuming enough calories or essential nutrients, they may lose weight despite eating regularly.

2. Underlying Medical Conditions

Various medical conditions can contribute to weight loss in cats, including:

  • Dental Problems– Pain or difficulty chewing due to dental disease can result in decreased appetite and weight loss.
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders– Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gastrointestinal parasites, or gastrointestinal cancer can impair nutrient absorption and lead to weight loss.
  • Hyperthyroidism– An overactive thyroid gland can cause increased metabolism and weight loss in cats.
  • Diabetes Mellitus: Diabetes can lead to weight loss despite increased appetite due to the body’s inability to utilize glucose effectively.
  • Kidney Disease– Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can cause weight loss due to decreased kidney function and loss of appetite.
  • Liver Disease– Liver disorders can impair nutrient metabolism and lead to weight loss.
  • Cancer– Tumors or cancerous growths can cause weight loss in cats, often accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy or changes in behavior.

3. Stress or Anxiety

Environmental stressors or changes in the cat’s routine can lead to stress-related weight loss. Cats may experience decreased appetite or changes in behavior when stressed.

Why Is My Cat Losing Weight
Why Is My Cat Losing Weight

4. Old Age

Senior cats may experience age-related changes that contribute to weight loss, such as decreased muscle mass, dental issues, or chronic health conditions.

5. Parasitic Infestations

External parasites such as fleas or internal parasites such as intestinal worms can cause weight loss in cats, particularly if left untreated.

6. Hyperactivity or Increased Activity Levels

Cats that are highly active or have increased energy expenditure may lose weight despite consuming adequate calories.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

If your cat is losing weight or showing other worrying symptoms like appetite loss, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, or behaviour changes, see a vet immediately. A thorough physical examination and diagnostic tests like blood work, urinalysis, imaging, or faecal analysis may be needed to determine the cause of weight loss and start treatment.


Weight loss in cats may indicate medical or stress-related issues. Recognising weight loss causes and seeking veterinary care can help diagnose and treat underlying conditions quickly. If your cat’s weight loss or health is a concern, talk to your vet for personalised advice.

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Is it normal for cats to lose weight as they age?

Some weight loss may be expected in older cats due to decreased activity levels and changes in metabolism. However, significant or sudden weight loss warrants attention.

Could my cat’s diet be causing weight loss?

Yes, an inadequate or inappropriate diet, including insufficient calories or lack of essential nutrients, can lead to weight loss in cats.

What medical conditions can cause weight loss in cats?

Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, dental issues, gastrointestinal problems, and cancer can all contribute to weight loss in cats.

Should I be concerned if my cat is losing weight despite having a healthy appetite?

Yes, unexplained weight loss, especially when accompanied by increased appetite (polyphagia), could indicate an underlying medical issue such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes.

Can stress or anxiety cause weight loss in cats?

Yes, stress or anxiety can lead to decreased appetite and weight loss in cats. Environmental changes, new pets, or changes in routine can trigger stress-related weight loss.

My name is Mariya Akhtar and I'm a Pet Care Content Writer who really cares about the health and happiness of our pet friends. I have a degree in Veterinary Science and I love animals. I also love writing, so I share useful tips on how to take care of pets. From tips on how to eat and behave, I want to help pet owners and their pets become closer. For any queries related to my article, use contact form 😊

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