Why Is My Cat Losing Weight in Raleigh, NC?

Do you have a cat in your family? Have you noticed your feline friend losing weight more quickly than you feel is normal? Unfortunately, rapid unexplained weight loss or even noticeable weight loss over a period of time is usually a symptom that something is going wrong with a cat, and it’s not something that should be ignored.

Read through the information below to learn more about what might be causing your cat’s weight loss.

cat looking up


Diabetes is a common problem in cats, especially in cats who are overfed. If your cat has been overweight for a long time and suddenly begins to lose weight, this may be a sign of diabetes. Another sign your cat may have diabetes is sweet or foul-smelling breath. If you notice any of these signs, alert your veterinarian.

Cats with diabetes may be able to have this condition managed just like humans. It’s important to work with a vet early on to figure out the best course of action in dealing with your cat’s diabetes.


Sometimes, cats who have a lot of anxiety or are frequently afraid may lose weight. This usually occurs when something has happened to change your cat’s life and routine significantly. For example, some families with cats who have a new baby notice the cat’s stress levels increase with the arrival of the new family member.

If your cat does have new stressors causing them anxiety, this could be the possible cause of the weight loss. Think about anything that could be causing them to feel more anxious than usual. If possible, remove the new stressor from the environment. If you are unable to do so, you may want to provide more personal space for your cat to help adjust to their new environment.

Dental Disease

Cats with dental disease may lose weight quickly because it hurts them to eat their food. Dental disease can include gum and tooth disease, tooth decay, abscesses, tumors, and any other problem affecting your cat’s mouth, tongue, or throat.

If you think this could be the problem for your cat, you should take them to the vet right away. Your veterinarian will be able to provide a treatment plan for all levels of dental disease.  Some simple recommendations to aid in preventing further dental disease could be brushing, water additives, or a different type of food. The right food and treatment plan can help your cat regain a healthy weight in no time.


If your cat has hyperthyroidism, you may notice him eating a lot but still losing significant weight. This condition causes your cat’s appetite to increase but also causes him to become very sick and start to waste away. You may also see him drinking more often, urinating frequently, and possibly having diarrhea often as well.

If left untreated, this condition is eventually fatal. However, if caught early enough, this disease can be managed with medication and/or a special diet. Your vet can diagnose hyperthyroidism with a simple blood test and help you to manage this disease to give your cat a longer life.


Internal parasites may cause weight loss, and this is one of the more common causes of sudden weight loss in cats. These parasites may be visible in your cat’s stool when they go to the litter box, but you most likely will not be able to see them.

Your vet will need to perform tests to determine if your cat has parasites, so you’ll need to provide a stool sample at your cat’s appointment. If your cat is diagnosed with internal parasites, there are many potential treatment options that can help cure the condition.

Food Allergy

Finally, one of the more common and more benign causes of weight loss in cats results from a food allergy. Some cats may be allergic to certain ingredients in their food, and some may develop an allergy suddenly later on in life. If this occurs, the cat may become sick from eating this food or may avoid eating altogether—both of which can cause weight loss.

Your vet will need to work with you to rule out any other potential causes of weight loss in your cat before deciding they have a food allergy. If so, your veterinarian will provide you with a food specifically formulated for cats with food allergies. There are a couple different options available if your cat is a picky eater.

Contact Your Vet If You’re Cat is Losing Weight in Raleigh, NC

Based on the information provided above, there are many reason as to why your cat may be losing weight.  If you think any of the above issues might be the problem for your cat, be sure to take him to the vet right away.

Only a veterinarian will be able to perform the required tests to determine the real underlying cause of your cat’s weight loss.

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About Bowman Animal Hospital & Cat Clinic

Established in 1986 by Dr. Gale Bowman, Bowman Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic is dedicated solely to the health and well-being of our pet community. We are a team of compassionate veterinarians and pet lovers who invest our time and resources into providing the very best medical care to your pet.