Cat owners might have noticed that during the summer season, some cats experience significant weight loss. This could be due to various reasons but in most cases, it’s physiological. Outdoor cats have a tendency to lose weight in the summer when the weather allows them to explore more. Consequently, the weight loss is a result of increased activities.
Current research reveals that many cats eat approximately 15 percent less in the summer season. This is most common in indoor cats and it’s easy to see why. Cats need less energy, maintaining their body temperatures in the warmer months, and thus require less food.
A cats’ age may influence how they adapt to the hot weather. If you have an older cat, you may have noticed how they love to hang out in warm places during the day, perhaps basking on the rooftop. Sun feels good on their skin but this may also be because hot temperatures are known to relieve any joint or bone pain they may be suffering. But all that soaking up the sun will also result in a reduced appetite. Further due to lower activity levels, their energy requirements will be lower.
Kittens naturally require warmer temperatures than older cats. This is because their temperature controls need to adapt to function in the right way. Therefore, it’s likely you won’t notice any changes in your kitten’s appetite or behavior in the Summer.
Why is My Cat Losing Weight?
It can be a bit unsettling to discover your cat losing weight despite filling out her food and water bowls every day. So why do cats lose weight? There are many possible reasons your cat might be losing weight. Here are the top 7 reasons for your cat’s weight loss:
Are you cleaning her food and water bowls every day? Cats don’t like eating off dirty bowls. They also hate eating next to their litter boxes. Come to think of it, you wouldn’t want to imagine eating off dirty plates or in the washroom, so why would your cat? There’s a simple fix. Make sure the food bowl is clean and easily accessible. If you have an older cat, particularly one that has arthritis, you may consider placing the food bowl off the floor; at the same time not too high either, so that she can eat comfortably.
Stress causes reduced appetite in cats. If there are disturbances in your house, for example, noisy children or ongoing construction work, your cat is likely to be on the edge. Cats prefer safe, quiet, and calm places to eat.
This is no mystery to cat owners. Cats don’t like change. If anything has changed in your house, even things like the arrival of a new family member, children home for the holidays etc., can make cats anxious. Bigger changes such as relocation, bringing in another pet or leaving your cat with a pet sitter while you go on a holiday can make your cat shy off from food. This, in turn, might lead to weight loss in cats. If your cat’s weight loss is related to change, you may have to allow them some time to adjust to the new routine.
Type of Food
Your cat might have a problem with the kind of food you are feeding her. It could be giving her stomach upsets, or she’s bored of it and doesn’t like it anymore.
Most cats experience weight loss as they grow older. This is normal and does not necessarily mean a serious health problem.
Depending on where you live, you might see a surge in the number of small insects in the Summer. These insects include flies, ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Insect bites can be annoying and can cause severe discomfort to your cat. Sometimes cats contract infections from these parasites leading to weight loss. Parasites like roundworms are also a common cause of weight loss in cats. You can prevent this by making sure your cat’s fur is always clean. You can regularly brush your cat’s fur using diluted Apple Cider vinegar – it’s incredibly effective to get rid of any insects/fleas.
Cats tend to mask symptoms when they are sick, and weight loss follows. Your cat might be suffering from an upset stomach. It isn’t always the case but sometimes stomach complications can also be related to severe illnesses such as cancer or diabetes. In such cases, your cat would be experiencing weight loss despite having a healthy appetite.
Cats suffering from toothaches may also have difficulties biting their food, leading to weight loss.
Is it normal for cats to eat less in the summer?
It is completely normal for your cat to eat less food in the summer. Your cat is highly sensitive to the taste, odor, and texture of the food you’re feeding her. The hot temperatures in summer will greatly affect her food preferences. If your indoor cat has different resting places both cold and warm, she will be able to deal with summer temperatures better. However, you may still notice a slight loss of appetite. It is believed that the increased daylight of the summer months naturally leads to a loss in appetites of all mammals, including cats.
Ensuring your cat stays hydrated is the best thing you can do for her in the summer. It is recommended to provide your cat with a lot of fresh, clean drinking water in different spots throughout your house. If your cat spends more time outdoors, identify her favorite spot, and keep a water bowl. Regularly check her water bowls, clean them, and replace them with fresh water at least twice a day.
Plastic bowls may cause water to have an unpleasant taste. It would be best if you use a stainless-steel bowl. You could also consider getting a cat fountain that offers continuous, fresh running water each time your cat gets thirsty.
It is also crucial that you feed your cat wet food in the warm months. Wet food contains high levels of moisture concentration than dry food and will help keep your cat hydrated. While you should always encourage your cat to drink water, it’s also true that most cats don’t drink water as often as they should. Wet food with a 75% moisture concentration will let your cat survive without drinking water for an extended period of time. As it is with many desert creatures, cats can get hydration from their prey. Generally, your cat will enjoy wet foods because they provide a wide variety of flavors. The food also has a texture similar to that of fresh meat.
If you feed your cat outdoors, it is recommended to replace her uneaten food more often. Both dry and wet food easily acquire bad odors or go bad in the summer season. This can attract insects and bugs to your cat’s food bowl. It also quickly becomes unattractive and will make your cat lose her appetite. It is best to serve your cat with regular smaller portions than large meals that she only partially eats.
Generally, it’s normal for cats to lose a little weight in summer due to a reduced appetite. However, if the weight loss doesn’t appear to be normal or if your cat has pre-existing medical conditions, you should always consult a vet. But if your cat has enough freshwater, eats regularly and looks relaxed, there really is no reason to be worried.