Fatty liver: hepatic lipidosis in cats

Hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver, is one of the most common liver diseases in cats. It mainly occurs in overweight animals, but suckling cats or young animals in the growth phase can also suffer from dangerous fatty liver. Obese cats are particularly prone to fatty liver - Image: Shutterstock / Pavel Mikoska

Fatty liver disease is a dangerous condition that can affect a cat that is too fat. If such an animal apparently no longer eats from one day to the next, and if you lose weight, fatigue and yellowing of the mucous membranes, the skin and the conjunctiva are added to the appetite, the suspicion of fatty liver, in the technical jargon hepatic lipidosis, is obvious.

Fatty liver: That is why the cat must not go hungry

As paradoxical as it sounds: If a cat does not eat food for a long period of time, this can lead to fatty liver. Because if the cat does not eat, its body mobilizes its fat reserves. While humans or dogs can supply these fats to the body to supply energy, the cat lacks the necessary enzyme. The liver's fat metabolism gets out of balance and the fats are stored in the liver cells and destroy them.

This peculiarity in metabolism, which can lead to fatty liver in cats today, was originally due to the eating behavior of the ancestors of our domestic cats in the wild. The wild cat species hunted for prey all day long and ate many small portions - due to the many exercise and the protein-rich food consisting solely of meat, overweight in cats that lived in the wild hardly ever occurred. Your body therefore did not need any enzymes to make fat deposits usable for the organism.

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Hepatic lipidosis: go to the vet immediately

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from fatty liver, immediate action is required. The cat desperately needs to eat to balance its liver function and prevent liver failure. In most cases, force feeding through infusions or a feeding tube in the veterinary clinic is necessary.

In order not to let it get this far, it is important that you keep a close eye on your cat's eating behavior - especially if it is overweight. You should never put an overweight cat on a radical diet. If your house tiger is to lose weight, the food should only be reduced very slowly and carefully in order to prevent fatty liver.

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