Sudden and dramatic weight loss in cats is alarming and distressing for owners. Understanding the various causes of cat weight loss is important and potentially life saving.
First up, let’s look at one of the biggies – feline diabetes.
Feline diabetes affects 1 in 400 cats but recent research suggests it is very much on the rise in the modern domestic cat.
Could Worms Be the Cause of Your Cat’s Weight Loss?
It seems very few cat owners have any idea how many troubles the presence of worms can cause in their feline friends; among them are, chronic catarrh, fits, chronic enteritis or dysentery, general unhealth-iness, poor coat and condition and sore eyes. If allowed to increase too much, death is the result.
Should a cat afflicted with these pests contract any disease, it is sure to succumb, for as soon as it discontinues to take nourishment, the worms cause death.
Tape and wire worms are the most common among cats and can be a cause of sudden and rapid weight loss.
Tape-worm is caused through the presence of fleas, therefore fleas should be exterminated first (see chapter on fleas) and a worm dose should follow. Areca nut, freshly powdered, is best, allowing one grain to every pound weight of the cat or kitten; give in the morning before any food, mixed with a little very sweet milk. It is best to mix the powder into a paste first, then add a little more milk. Some cats will drink this readily, if not it should be given with a spoon; do not feed until several hours afterwards
Repeat this dose after three days, then again in two or three weeks’ time.
If many worms are expelled feed only Robinson’s prepared barley for twelve hours afterwards. (See chapter on invalid diet.)
If you think your cat or kitten has a serious attack of worms it is dangerous to give a vermifuge, as, should a number of worms he expelled the removal of so many at one time causes inflammation of the intestines and the patient never recovers, succumbing after a few days; therefore the following is a better treatment:
Give two teaspoonfuls of lime-water in the morning before breakfast, followed by a small teaspoonful of olive oil; this is a good dose for a kitten; continue the lime-water in all its food, also a pinch of salt in the morning meal for a week at least.
If cats and kittens are fed on milk or starchy foods worms will exist in great numbers, these pests cannot exist if a meat diet is adhered to.
Having fed your cats on milk and cereals, great care must be taken in introducing a meat diet; if a kitten which is greatly troubled with worms is suddenly fed entirely on meat it is apt to succumb to fits caused by the “rebellion” of masses of worms, as they cannot exist on meat and in this way cause the death of the kitten. When worms are present they must either be expelled or fed, and, as they live on milk and starchy foods this diet must be continued until the greater part of these pests have been expelled, then introduce a meat diet by degrees, using lime-water all the time; then as soon as the kitten gets strong and healthy, feed entirely on meat – keep free from fleas and you will have no more trouble in raising kittens. Where a meat diet is strictly adhered to, and the cattery kept entirely free from fleas, you will find in a year or two no treatment for worms will be necessary.
This sounds impossible, but I have proved it to my own satisfaction; such a thing as a worm dose my cats and kittens never require.
Wire-worms are more difficult to eradicate than tape, and they are also more dangerous to expel. Stronger medicine has to be given, and, when expelled in large quantities, they almost invariably cause death, but when left alone they cause fits which also kill; threfore the method of slow expulsion before mentioned is the best, followed in a few weeks by some good vermifuge. There is no doubt the cause of the old saying “that raw meat causes fits in cats” is due to milk-fed cats (which are always greatly troubled with worms) being suddenly changed to a meat diet, which as I said before is apt to cause fits, as meat is not a food suitable to worms, and causes the death of the poor cat which has been fed on milk all its life. Cats which eat rats, mice and beetles are also afflicted with these pests, and should be dosed several times a year.
In a future post, we are going to closely examine the leading causes of cat weight loss. Please bookmark us or subscribe to our RSS feed if cat weight loss is a topic of interest to you.
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