Cats are treasured members of our families. That’s why when summer rolls around and they start losing weight, it’s understandable for us to worry. We only want them to be happy and healthy. That’s what makes us such great pet owners. Thankfully, these weight fluctuations are completely normal during those hot, summer months. [photo via flickr]
Cats’ weights fluctuate during the summer because they experience a decrease in appetite. When the temperature is hot, cats don’t eat as much. This is because the extra daylight and hot temperatures make their hormone levels change. In turn, their metabolism rate changes making them want to take in less food than normal. This shouldn’t be too surprising. Like humans, when temperatures rise, cats want to do as little activity as possible. They want to exert themselves only when necessary. With less activity, they need less energy. Since there’s all these hormone and metabolism changes going on, the most primitive part of the brain also becomes affected. This results in a decrease in appetite. They no longer want the amount of food they’re used to consuming.
One reason why we notice the decrease in appetite is that this whole process is completely opposite from the winter. During the wintertime, cats need to consume more food, thus creating more energy to maintain body temperature. With less daylight, that same switch in the primitive part of the brain goes off. Only in this situation, the cat’s brain makes them want to seek more food. These hormone changes alter the cat’s metabolism as well. To keep themselves warm, cats also store food during the winter months. Their eating habits are so different between the two seasons, that there’s an obvious weight fluctuation going on. Thanks to all this, the weight difference between the winter and summer is very noticeable.
While it’s very common for weight to fluctuate during the summer, it never hurts to get your cat checked out. If you’re concerned about your cat’s weight fluctuations, visit the veterinarian to make sure that there’s no hidden issues at hand. Even though weight loss is normal, there is that possibility that it could be the result of an underlying problem. This could include anything from kidney failure to dental problems. Take the precaution just to make sure. Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?
When we make the decision to own a pet, we’re taking responsibility for ever aspect of their lives. We need to make sure they’re well fed, given a loving shelter, and that they’re receiving the best healthcare. When summertime comes along, we’ll notice an obvious weight fluctuation. Don’t fret. Like us, they’re reacting to the change in temperature.