Is My Cat Too Skinny if I Can Feel Her Spine?

“My cat is so skinny that I can feel the bones around his ribs through his skin. It’s been really bothering me lately. I’m not sure what to do about it. The last time I took him to the vet, he said he was a little underweight but otherwise healthy. Should I be worried about my cat’s health?”

Why is my cat so bony and skinny?

Is it bad if I can feel my cat’s bones?

If your cat’s weight has changed then it is likely due to nutritional deficiencies or a medical condition. If your cat is simply not getting enough food, they will lose weight gradually and at a steady rate.

A cat who is suffering from a medical condition will lose weight very suddenly. They may also show no interest in food. If you notice your cat has lost weight, the first thing to do is have her seen by a veterinarian.

Blood and urine tests are common practice for cats suffering from weight loss. This will test for infections, blood disorders, and general health. Depending on those tests, your veterinarian may suggest other tests such as x-rays or scans to check bone and organ conditions.

A healthy cat who has lost weight may just need larger portions or changing to a cat food that has a higher carbohydrate and fat content. Outdoor cats tend to have a bigger appetite than indoor cats because they are burning more energy while they explore their neighborhood.

If your veterinarian does diagnose a medical problem, treating this is the first step to preventing further weight loss. Once the illness is resolved, they may recommend a short-term high-calorie diet to help your cat gain weight.

My cat is so skinny I can feel her bones

Skinny cats are a common problem, but it is easy to fix. The first thing you want to do is take your cat to the vet and rule out any medical conditions.

1. Dental

The most common medical causes of weight loss are dental problems. Cats with oral infections or gum disease will experience pain when they eat. This will make them reluctant to eat and so they will begin to lose weight.

2. Diet

Not all cat foods are made equal! Some brands use low-quality ingredients to keep costs down, but this means the food does not contain the right quantity of nutrients that cats need. Nutritional deficiency has a big impact on how well your cat maintains weight.

3. Food allergies

Just like us, cats can be intolerant or allergic to certain foods. A simple allergy test performed by a veterinarian will confirm if a cat has any allergies. Choosing a new cat food that does not contain allergens will help your cat to regain and maintain their weight.

4. Diabetes

Diabetes is a surprisingly common illness for cats. Undiagnosed or poorly controlled diabetes can quickly lead to weight loss. Carefully managing their insulin injections and diet can help a cat to gain weight and to maintain it at a healthy level.

5. Parasites

Parasites are a cat owner’s worst nightmare. An infestation of fleas, ticks or internal parasites can quickly cause weight loss. Fleas and ticks drain blood which can lead to anemia. one of the first things to be impacted here is appetite since the cat feels too weak to move much.

Internal parasites usually pass by or remain in the digestive tract and steal vital nutrients. Not only does this cause the cat to lose weight, but it also puts a strain on their organs and causes more serious medical illnesses.

6. Hyperthyroidism

This condition is caused by an over-active thyroid, causing the body to release too much of certain hormones. This can cause weight loss and reduced appetite among other symptoms. By administering your cat’s regular thyroid medication you can stop the weight loss. Switching them to a high-calorie diet will help them regain the weight they lost.

7. Age

Unfortunately, all animals age, and with it comes a loss of appetite and the inability to maintain weight. One of the first signs that your cat is suffering from old age is weight loss.

You can change them onto a high-calorie diet to ensure they are getting additional nutrients, but this is simple management. Ensuring they continue to receive the nutrients they need will help them to remain at a healthy weight, but eventually, you will start to notice that your cat has a slimmer frame or appears weaker.

This is the sad reality of cat ownership. All you can do is support them in their old age as best you can and make sure they are comfortable and loved.

How can I get my skinny cat to gain weight?

The question of how to get my skinny cat to gain weight is a common one among pet owners. When you have a pet that seems unduly thin, you may feel the need to help “fatten it up.”

Before you start overfeeding your pet, it’s important to know what’s normal for feline weight. Cats are generally leaner than dogs, so if your cat is on the slender side, there’s no cause for alarm. It may just be a natural build.

When it comes to your cat’s diet, it’s all about the calories. And when it comes to calories, it’s all about fat. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet high in animal protein and fat. Their bodies aren’t designed to metabolize carbohydrates well (being a desert-dwelling species), so carbs don’t make up a large part of their normal diet.

There are certain foods that are designed for those cats who need to gain weight. These foods contain a high-calorie content to help your cat put on some pounds. However, if you’re just feeding your cat a normal diet without a special focus on weight gain, it might take more than just food to help your cat gain weight.

Don’t forget treats! Treats can be a great way to get a few extra calories into your pet as well as provide a reward for good behavior. However, treats shouldn’t make up the majority of your cat’s diet and they should be used in moderation so they don’t lead to obesity in your cat.

Shake up the routine! If your cat eats the same thing every day, they may not get as hungry as they would if they had variety. Try offering different types of food at different times of the day to keep them interested throughout the day.

Many owners find that feeding their cat a combination of wet and dry foods works well as dry food helps to keep the kitty’s teeth clean and wet food can help improve her appetite – especially if she isn’t eating very much.

Takeaway: If you have any concerns about your cat’s weight or determine that he needs to gain some pounds, talk with your vet about other ways you can give him the extra calories he needs. He might recommend a weight gain formula or recommend adding things like meat or table scraps into his current diet.

Veterinarian Discusses Cats with Weight Loss

Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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