As a cat owner, you’re used to noticing that your furry friend goes through cycles of wanting to eat and not wanting to eat. But, occasionally, this desire to lose weight will be a bit more noticeable than usual. In fact, it will be so extreme that it will cause some alarm. So what’s the cause of this unusual weight loss? Let’s take a look.
The ‘Goldfish Induced’ Phenomenon
While it’s exciting to see your cat lose weight, let’s not get our hopes up too high. Just because your pet has lost some pounds doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. It could be a symptom of a more serious condition. One that, if left untreated, could ultimately cause your feline friend to suffer and potentially even die. That rather serious condition is diabetes mellitus. In some instances, the ‘goldfish effect’ can mimic the symptoms of diabetes. Which is why, whenever your cat starts losing weight rapidly, you must ensure that you’ve got it checked out by a vet.
Some researchers speculate that the ‘goldfish effect’ could be caused by a hyperactive thyroid. That would certainly cause your cat’s weight to fluctuate. Sometimes, it might seem as though your furry friend has lost a lot of weight, only for the weight to return later. When this happens, it can be a sign that your cat’s thyroid is out of whack. Again, a vet should be able to tell you for sure what is causing your cat’s extreme weight loss. There could also be other underlying causes for this condition. One example is parasites. If your cat is losing weight, and it’s not due to the ‘goldfish effect’, then parasites might be to blame. Fortunately, this is a condition that can be treated successfully. With the right medication and diet, most cats will be back to their normal weight within a few months.
So, before you get too excited about your cat losing weight, it’s vital that you get the facts first. If you think that this is simply a matter of your pet getting thin, then that’s certainly wonderful. But, remember: We all love a chubby kitty, so take care not to let your cat get discouraged.
Another condition that could be responsible for your cat’s unusual appetite is the human obesity epidemic. In recent years, obesity in humans has increased by 17% across the globe. In the United States, about 80 million adults are considered to be obese. And what’s truly alarming is that it’s not just adults who are getting fatter. Over the past few years, childhood obesity has more than tripled in developed countries. And the number of overweight and obese children is showing no signs of slowing down.
This is obviously having a profound effect on the wellness of our furry friends. But, despite the obesity epidemic, it’s not necessarily related to cats’ eating habits. It could be that the treats that humans are feeding their pets are contributing to this trend. Specifically, many pet food manufacturers have started producing high-calorie, premium pet foods. Some owners have even reported that their cats are developing tooth infections and other health problems because of overfeeding. So, if you’re ever worried that your cat is becoming obese, then it might be a good idea to cut back on the food that you’re offering. Or, at least switch to a lower calorie option.
If your cat is consistently losing weight, then you might be wondering what could be causing it. One of the most common underlying causes of rapid weight loss in cats is anorexia. That’s an eating disorder where an animal refuses to eat any food. In most cases, the symptoms of anorexia will be apparent even to the untrained eye. As with other illnesses, the condition can be life-threatening. Especially if left untreated. And, like many other disorders, it can be very hard to diagnose. As a result, it might go undiagnosed for months before being properly identified.
What’s more is that, in some instances, cats with anorexia will lose extreme amounts of weight. So much so, that it will cause alarm. A lot of veterinarians even consider this to be a medical emergency. In rare cases, cats with anorexia have even died from starvation. So, if your cat starts exhibiting any of the symptoms of anorexia, then it’s essential that you take it to a vet immediately. As with other life-threatening conditions, it will be essential to make sure that your cat is given the best possible care. In most cases, it will be able to be treated successfully. However, if left untreated, it could lead to death. So, it’s imperative that you seek help as soon as possible.
Now, many cats have been known to lose weight for various reasons. But, as you might expect, some pets are more susceptible to eating disorders than others. Especially since these illnesses are so hard to diagnose. If your particular feline friend is losing a large amount of weight, then it might be a good idea to take the time to investigate what could be the underlying cause. There are many possible explanations. Some of which could be very serious. If you’re ever in doubt, then it might be best to consult with a vet. They will be able to tell you for sure what is causing your cat’s extreme appetite loss.