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Cat can't gain weight.

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby
Age: 2-5 years
My cat is underweight, I've tried feeding her more but it isn't working... How can I help her gain weight that she lost due to her kittens which are with other people now?




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your cat is having issues with not being able to gain weight.

Any time I see a cat not be able to gain weight I get worried about medical problems. In a young cat like this there is a possibility that she has a serious virus such as feline leukemia virus, FIV or FIP.

If her appetite is down it is possible that she has a problem with her kidneys, or even an infection in her uterus both of which are very serious.

While parasites can cause some mild health issues they usually don't cause significant weight loss.

If she is really pale another possibility is blood loss possibly due to a parasite called hemobartonella (or mycoplasma felis). This needs to be treated with a particular antibiotic prescribed by the vet.

It is possible for a cat to lose weight because of the stress of nursing, but this weight should come back quite rapidly once the kittens are gone. You can try feeding her kitten food which is higher in calories than adult food. But, if she is not gaining weight then she will need to see the vet to figure out what is wrong.

I hope all is well!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.