As your cat gets older, it’s natural for him to begin to gain weight.
However, it’s essential to keep feeding him to maintain his health and safety. If he’s losing weight rapidly, it’s necessary to feed him more progressively.
So, why is my old cat losing weight but eating well? As your cat ages, his metabolism slows down and his need for energy decreases.
Many cats lose weight as they get older because they aren’t eating as much food as they used to. However, it’s vital to keep your cat’s weight under control because obesity can lead to health problems like arthritis and high blood pressure.
Also, obesity can shorten your cat’s lifespan by several years. This risk is especially high if your cat is overweight when he’s younger because his metabolism is slower and his body chemistry has changed.
So it’s important that you make sure your pet is eating enough food.
- 1 Is It Normal For An Old Cat To Get Skinny?
- 2 Why Is My Old Cat Losing Weight But Eating Well?
- 3 What Should I Do If My Cat Is Overweight?
- 4 Conclusion
Is It Normal For An Old Cat To Get Skinny?
Yes, it is common for a cat to gain weight as he gets older.
Cats above the ageof 6 years old begin to lose their lean muscle mass and weight as they get older.
This loss is often readily linked to visible sickness, but in older cats, the weight loss may not be so apparent due to decreased activity levels or a reduction in appetite with age.
Older cats’ energy needs are usually less than when they were younger and they may begin to lose interest in food due to a decline in taste and smell perception.
Although it is believed that cats would adapt their energy requirements to changes in activity level, most cats continue to eat the same amount of food that they ate when they were younger.
Unattributed Weight Loss
Subtle weight loss may go undetected unless thorough physiological evaluation is performed and the cat is examined by a veterinarian.
Similarly, minor changes in food or water habits will not be noted unless the owner pays attention, the cat is weighed frequently, and the owner is notified immediately if weight loss.
Even when the most careful owners give their cats with the greatest medical care and attention, some cats are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus or hyperthyroidism and will need to be treated to control their disease and maintain their weight.
Cats with low fat or protein diets may also lose weight despite adequate nutrient intake.
There seems to be a genetic component to this phenomenon, and there appears to be an association between the shortened feline lifespan and these disorders.
These alterations were connected to a range of other health changes including reduced fertility, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases and a shorter lifespan.
Attributable Weight Loss
Chronic renal illness, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and neoplasia are relatively common causes for a cat to lose weight that is an attributable component of their disease process.
The majority of them are readily diagnosed and treatable diseases in cats.
Serum thyroxine, cobalamin, serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity, and folate levels may be abnormal in cats with hyperthyroidism.
Despite considerable examination, determining the underlying disease process in cats with unexplained weight loss can be difficult.
Why Is My Old Cat Losing Weight But Eating Well?
Hyperthyroidism is most common in elderly female cats and is the most common cause of chronic weight loss in cats.
Hyperthyroidism is often assumed to be a condition of older cats but can actually be common in young cats as well.
You may assume that your cat is fat because he’s getting older and will get fatter as he ages but it’s not uncommon for an otherwise healthy cat to gain weight suddenly.
Hyperthyroidism is a disorder caused by a hyperactive thyroid gland often related to a benign tumor on the gland itself.
The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism, controls how fast the cat burns calories, and controls the level of thyroid hormone.
Hyperthyroid cats may also exhibit increased drinking and increased urination or it may present with no clinical signs at all.
Because cats can’t eat enough calories to satisfy her increased energy needs, she’ll lose weight despite eating well.
Because hyperthyroid cats are actually starving while eating regularly, they usually have a slow rate of weight loss which allows owners to suspect hyperthyroidism long before they see a significant change in weight.
Weight loss in senior cats is frequent, and makes some owners wonder if there is something seriously wrong with their cat.
Kidney disease, also known as renal insufficiency, is becoming a common disease in older cats.
Although cats with renal illness usually don’t experience changes in appetite or activity, they may lose weight.
Blood and urine tests may reveal how well your cat’s kidneys are working, and your veterinarian may also recommend imaging studies such as ultrasound or x-ray imaging. So, your veterinarian can evaluate the size and shape of the kidneys.
Intestinal parasites are another probable cause of weight loss in senior cats.
If your cat hunts tiny rodents or rabbits on your yard, she may be exposed to intestinal parasites that are shed in the animals’ feces.
Intestinal parasites and worms may induce vomiting and diarrhea, or even blood loss from damaged tissues.
Gastrointestinal (GI) Problems
Weight loss in your cat may be the result of gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
Even if your cat is eating well, conditions like malabsorption syndrome and pancreatitis can cause weight loss.
Other possible reasons include tumors of the stomach or intestines, and inflammatory bowel disease.
If you suspect your cat has GI system problems, your veterinarian will diagnose the condition by performing comprehensive tests.
What Should I Do If My Cat Is Overweight?
You may help your senior cat gain or lose weight by adjusting her diet.
Some cats get lazier and fatter as they get old, and unfortunately, this is usually the result of an underlying disease often unnoticeable to you unless you pay close attention to your pet’s behavior.
They may eat as soon as their dish is filled, but may not want to play with them anymore or immediately pounce on them so quick that it causes you to hit your head on the table.
Other cats will amble away when you approach them to play with them or take them to bed, preferring to be left alone instead.
Like humans, cats’ sensitive sense of taste becomes less acute as they age.
They may lose teeth, or may have trouble chewing food thoroughly and getting all nutrients from it.
Weight loss in cats can be caused by many factors, such as changes in activity level, or an illness involving the digestive system that interferes with the absorption of nutrients from the food your cat eats.
Making Food More Appealing
Many senior cats’ traditionally dependable sense of smell, which signaled the urgency of eating and the need to eliminate waste, also deteriorates with age.
Try adding favorite treats or liquid food to their food dish to make it more attractive to them.
Utilization of High-Calorie Cat Food
Begin by finding an adult cat formula with a higher calorie count than their regular food.
Because cats are usually overweight, most cat meals will not promise to lose weight in cats.
Look for high-protein, high-calorie diets, but check your cats’ current weight to make sure you stay within the recommended daily calorie intake for your cat’s weight.
Unlike humans, loading up on carbs will not necessarily cause a cat to lose weight.
Also See: Can Cats Drink Pedialyte?
If you observe that your cat is losing weight abruptly, you should call your veterinarian immediately and discuss your concerns with him or her.
He or she should be able to advise you on whether you should increase your pet’s diet or not.
Finally, pet owners want the greatest nutrition for their pets, and it may take some time for their cat to adjust to the new diet.
If your senior cat is losing weight but eating well, it may mean that your pet has an underlying ailment that needs to be addressed quickly before it becomes a chronic problem.
If your cat is losing weight but eating well and your veterinarian suspects that your cat is suffering from any condition that can cause weight loss in cats, he or she will order tests to determine the underlying cause of the weight loss and prescribe the appropriate treatment.