When should I notify my veterinarian if my cat is losing or gaining weight?

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Any unexplained weight gain or loss in a cat can be a potential health problem, so it is important that you consult with your veterinarian as soon as you notice that there is a drastic fluctuation in your cat’s weight.

It can sometimes be a subtle weight change, just a pound or two, but it can also potentially be the result of a serious health concern for your cat. There are many things that can contribute to a cat’s weight change.

Reasons for weight gain

  • Thyroid problems
  • Pregnancy
  • Overeating
  • Heart disease
  • Fluid retention
  • Parasites
  • Prescription medications

Reasons for weight loss

  • Malnutrition
  • Parasites
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver disease
  • Infection
  • Cancer
  • Anemia

Only your vet can help you to determine what the reason might be for your pet’s unexplained weight loss or gain. Your vet will need to weigh your cat and perform a thorough physical examination. They will also need to run some blood tests in order to look for anything that could be out of the ordinary, such as elevated white blood cells, or other troublesome signs of larger issues.

Your vet will most likely check your cat’s stool and try to take a urine sample in order to rule out parasites, elevated levels of glucose, or protein present in the feline’s urine. While it is worrisome when a cat starts to drop weight or rapidly gain weight, it is important to remember that, with early intervention, there are often many treatment options available. The sooner you seek out help from your vet, the sooner you will be able to help your cat get healthy.

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