Your cat and parasites
A number of different parasites can cause weight loss in your cat. Two types, Giardia and Coccidia, both cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and weight loss. It’s essential you see a veterinarian if you believe your cat has a parasitic infestation, as they’ll be able to specify what parasite it is and advise how to protect your cat (and you) against it.
Hairballs and cats
Cats spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves, which regulates their body temperature and keeps their hair and skin clean. However, if their hair isn’t properly excreted through their digestive system, it can get caught up and form hairballs. These lumps of matted hair can lead to regurgitation, constipation, esophagus blockages, a loss of appetite, and eventual loss of weight.
Vitamin deficiencies in cats
Weight loss, alongside dermatological problems like flaking skin, alopecia, and scratching, can be an indicator of a B vitamin deficiency, which can occur with gastrointestinal disease or when an unbalanced diet is fed. This vitamin is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body, therefore your cat’s diet must include the vitamin B complex to help maintain a healthy coat and skin. If your cat is eating a diet that is not complete and balanced, they may be at risk for vitamin and other nutrient deficiencies. If your cat is losing weight and you’re worried it might be due to a vitamin deficiency, please see your veterinarian.
If you have any concerns about your cat’s recent weight loss, make sure that you visit your veterinarian; they’ll conduct a full examination and be able to address your concerns directly. The best way to ensure your cat remains at a healthy weight is to visit your veterinarian regularly and to measure your cat’s food, so you can take note of any changes in food intake.