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What to do if your cat can’t keep weight on
Most cats and dogs eat up their pet food in a hurry to refuel and get back to jumping, climbing and exploring the world around them. Although most times eating enough food will give a cat what it needs to maintain healthy muscles and a solid weight, sometimes cats are unable to keep on weight due to an underlying health issue.
Cats need to produce a balanced number of hormones such as T3 (liothyronine) and T4 (levothyroxine) in their thyroid gland in order to have a normal metabolism. If your cat's body produces less-than-average levels of one or both of these hormones, it can cause a slower or faster metabolism, which can affect its weight, known as hypothyroidism.
The news outlet reports that many times this condition arises after a cat has had thyroid surgery or if it was on radioactive iodine therapy, though sometimes it can occur naturally. In some instances the problem can occur due to a congenital disease, iodine deficiency, cancer or as a side effect of another surgery or procedure.
Signs that your cat may have hypothyroidism include lethargy and confusion. Physical weakness, an unkempt appearance, loss of hair, constipation and a low body temperature may also be caused by the medical issue. If you notice that your once-active feline who spent hours playing and climbing on its Whisker World Cat Tree Condo, now only uses it to take naps on, you should bring it to a veterinarian to have it checked out.
The vet will most likely ask for a medical history of your cat and will perform a full physical to check for a diagnosis. You'll need to give the vet detailed accounts of what happened leading up to the symptoms starting so the vet can better assess where the issue is stemming from.
Many times a vet will run other tests like a biochemistry profile to evaluate the levels of T3 and T4 in its thyroid. Once a diagnosis is made, the vet will start the cat on treatments to help it manage the condition.
The vet will prescribe pet meds like Methimazole or Tapazole that will help regulate the levels of T3 and T4 in the cat's body. Slip the pills in Greenies Pill Pockets to ensure the cat ingests the medication in full. You may also need to change up the cat's diet to include foods that are lower in fat, but higher in quality ingredients that will help it maintain a healthy weight. Options like Before Grain Canned Cat Food or Halo Spot's Stew Sensitive Dry Cat Food may work best.