Does IBD in Cats Cause Weight Loss?

If your cat is looking a little thin, IBD might be the culprit.
i Jupiterimages/ Images

If you've recently noticed that your precious kitty not only is vomiting a lot but is looking somewhat thinner, don't just push the problem to the back of your mind. These symptoms often indicate inflammatory bowel disease. IBD is a relatively common chronic disorder in the feline world.

IBD Background

Inflammatory bowel disease involves inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. With too many inflammatory cells in the intestines and stomach, problems with healthy digestion take place, and the discomfort and frustration of IBD starts. According to the ASPCA, the root trigger of the ailment is uncertain, though it could be related to anything from immune system troubles to bacteria.


Weight loss is indeed a prominent sign of IBD, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Other notable symptoms include throwing up, appetite swings and diarrhea. The ASPCA states that frequent vomiting is an especially prevalent and telling sign of the condition.

If you observe that your sweet kitty is looking kind of skinny coupled with even one of these other symptoms, schedule an appointment with her veterinarian immediately. Time means everything when it comes to your pet's health.


If your cat is losing weight and you can't figure out exactly why, consider her age. IBD can pop up in any cat, including wee young kittens. But it's especially common in those who are on the elderly side, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine notes.

Other Causes

If your cat is losing weight out of nowhere, don't simply assume she has IBD. Weight loss can be a symptom of several feline conditions, including kidney disease, diabetes, overactive thyroid and even constipation.

Your cat's health is not a guessing game, so take her to the veterinarian promptly to be 100 percent sure of the problem. The sooner you know what's going on, the sooner the vet can work on fixing it.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

the nest