Fatty liver in cats: what it is, causes, symptoms, treatment

Obese cats are at risk of developing fatty liver disease: let’s see together what to do in case of fatty liver in cats.

The fatty liver disease in cats is also known as feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver syndrome. It is a very risky pathology for the health of our four-legged friend. Here’s how to identify it in time and how to intervene to protect the well-being of our furry cat.

What is fatty liver in cats

Fatty liver disease is a disease that causes fat cells to accumulate inside the cat’s liver, compromising normal liver function.

Although there are risk factors, it should be noted that all breeds of cats, regardless of age and sex, can develop this disease.

The triggering cause of lipidosis is represented by fasting. The symptoms of the disease, in fact, are triggered following a loss or reduction of the cat’s appetite.

If the cat does not assimilate a sufficient amount of protein, the lipid stores are conveyed to the liver to be converted into energy.

This organ, however, is unable to carry out this transformation of fats. For this reason, accumulating triglycerides cause liver failure, causing irreversible damage in just two weeks.

It is therefore imperative to intervene promptly at the first sign of illness of your four-legged friend, by contacting the veterinarian.

Fatty liver syndrome: symptoms and causes

Are you worried that your cat is at risk of developing fatty liver disease? Let’s find out what are the main causes of this pathology and how to identify it quickly.

As we have anticipated, the main risk factor is represented by obesity in cats. However, there are a number of other conditions that could lead to the onset of this condition, including:

  • Excessive use of liver-toxic drugs, such as morphine, acetaminophen, and salicylic acid
  • Diabetes mellitus;
  • Intoxication;
  • Hyperthyroidism;
  • Anorexia.

What are the manifestations of fatty liver disease in cats? Animals tend to exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy;
  • Hypersalivation;
  • Depression;
  • Vomiting in cats;
  • Anorexia;
  • Fever;
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Convulsions;
  • Jaundice.

Fatty liver disease in cats: diagnosis and treatment

As we have seen, early diagnosis is essential to prevent the cat suffering from fatty liver from suffering irreparable damage.

The vet will analyse the cat’s medical history, as well as its eating habits. After that, the animal will undergo a physical examination and blood tests.

If the blood count shows an impairment of renal function, specific treatments will be carried out, aimed at resolving the main cause that caused the onset of the fatty liver syndrome.

If your cat’s condition is particularly severe, it will need to be hospitalized and given fluid therapy. What is the prognosis for a cat with fatty liver?

It is favourable if it has been possible to identify the triggering cause. If, on the other hand, it is an idiopathic lipidosis, the chances of recovery decrease.

Generally, the timing for a complete recovery of the cat is around 6 weeks, during which it will be up to us to feed the animal through a specific nutritional support.

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