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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16214
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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What are possible reasons a cat might lose a lot of weight

Customer Question

What are possible reasons a cat might lose a lot of weight and sometimes acts like it is hard to swallow
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Have you noticed Big Boy drinking more?

How is his appetite? Reduced, normal, or does he seem keen to eat more then usual?

Has he had vomting, retching, gagging, or lip licking?

Any voice change, snoring, or changes in breathing?

Any sores in his mouth or under his tongue?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No drinks normal. Normal appetite. Vomiting some but looks like hairballs. He was gagging but haven't noticed it lately. He does luck his lips. He does snore. I don't think he has an sores.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, we can see weight loss in the cat for a range of reasons.

When we consider potential causes, we do tend to do so by dividing our concerns into 3 categories. These are reduced nutritional intake (which sounds not to be an issue here), increased output (if he were vomiting excessively or had diarrhea), and internal issues (ie worms, thyroid disease, diabetes, kidney or liver issues, cancer, etc). So, with all of these in mind, Big Boy's signs are most likely related to that third group of concerns.

With these in mind, we do want to start taking some steps to get to the bottom of what is going on before he loses any more weight. Therefore, our first step would be to ensure he was up to date on worming (which you can get OTC at most vets, pet stores, and online if you know his weight). From there, it'd be ideal to have a check up with his local vet (if he is due for a vaccination soon, you could move it up a wee bit early and have him checked out at that time). The vet will be able to have a feel of him and just make sure there are no sinister lumps and bumps to blame for his weight loss. And if you were able to bring in a urine sample at that point, the vet could check it for signs of diabetes (ie. sugar in the urine) as well as check its specific gravity (how concentrated it is) that can tell us if there are problems with his kidneys might be lurking. Urine samples can often be collected by placing the cat in a carpet-less room with an empty (or with non-absorbable litter) litter box overnight.

If hyperthyroid is a potential after your vet has examined him, then a blood sample may be checked to assess his thyroid hormone to determine how severely affected he may be. As well, if you do have a blood sample checked, you can also have his blood sugar, liver and kidney parameters checked at the same time, giving you a good chance of ruling out the above differentials and determining the cause of his abnormal weight loss.

Overall, we do have a range of concerns for weight loss in a cat that is eating well. Therefore, based on Big Boy's history, we'd be most concerned about that third category and would want to take the above steps to narrow down those causes, pinpoint which is present, and address it for him so that we can halt his losses and help him regain some weight.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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