4. What can cause weight loss in a cat?
There is no shortage of portly pets in the world these days, mainly due to the abundance of owners who overfeed and under-exercise their four-legged friends. These animals could use a good weight loss program. However, weight loss in an animal that is not on a diet is generally a cause for concern.
Some of the most common causes of weight loss in cats are intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms or tapeworms. Fortunately, these are relatively easy to treat — one or two doses of medication will usually do the trick.
More serious potential causes of weight loss in cats include cancer, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease and dental infections. No matter what the cause, any unexplained weight loss in your cat should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Litter Box Basics
Intestinal parasites are very common in cats, with infection rates as high as 45 percent, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The best way to avoid recurring infections is to scoop feces from cat litter boxes daily and regularly clean them with a bleach solution.
3. Should you be worried if your cat has diarrhea?
Despite its inherent unpleasantness, diarrhea serves a critical function in all animals, including cats. It is nature’s way of quickly getting rid of anything in the digestive tract that has the potential to do harm. It’s normal for cats to have occasional diarrhea, and it’s usually a short-lived problem.
Sometimes, however, diarrhea indicates a more serious condition in cats, such as intestinal infections or tumors. If your cat’s diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours, contains blood or is accompanied by vomiting or fever, make an appointment to see your veterinarian immediately. You should also see your veterinarian if your cat shows signs of dehydration, which include sunken eyes, lethargy, and a dry mouth and nose.
A cat that has diarrhea may also refuse to eat or drink during the episode. However, dehydration is a serious concern for cats. If your pet is experiencing diarrhea, encourage him to drink at least small amounts of water.