This post is over 2 pages…An interesting study published in 2018, which has come to my noticed today, states that the main cause of death of domestic cats taken to a veterinary hospital in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, was digestive system diseases (13.71%) and within this category the most common illness was feline hepatic lipidosis at 18.75%. Second in line were diseases of the respiratory system at 10.86% which included diseases such as pneumonia, pulmonary oedema and diaphragmatic hernia.
I’m interested in why the top disease was feline hepatic lipidosis. This is an interesting disease because it is one of the most common forms of liver disease in cats but importantly there is no known cause but obesity is known to increase the risk and also importantly the disease starts when the cat stops eating from a loss of appetite.
When a cat stops eating it forces the liver to convert body fat into usable energy. If this continues for a period of time fat builds up in liver cells which begins the disease. Depending on how far the disease has progressed the cat can recover or enters a phase of high chance of fatality. Through intense feeding the disease is reversible. The treatment may involve the insertion of a temporary feeding tube.
Loss of appetite
There are lots of reasons why a domestic cat might lose their appetite. This must be obvious because it is a very common symptom of an ill cat. That’s why, I guess, this disease is quite common. However, a cat may stop eating because they’re suffering from stress and anxiety. It may be caused by separation from their human companion but there are numerous reasons why domestic cat might be stressed.
Some examples might be: the environment in which the cat lives is unsuited because the humans are constantly arguing and making noise or there is a constant disturbance in the home, the house may be invaded by strange cats which stresses the resident cat because of intrusions on their home range, bullying by dominant cats, frequent visits to a boarding category which are known to be stressful, changes in the occupants of the home, moving home a lot, long absences et cetera. Essentially the human created environment for the cat is unsuited and predisposes the resident cat companion to stress.