Why is my cat's butt skinny? (Explained in detail) (2023)

Written byMarina Titowa noLast updateMay 2022

BetterWithCats.net may earn a small commission if you use one of the links on this page to make a purchase.

Why is my cat's butt skinny? (Explained in detail) (1)

Our feline companions come in all shapes and sizes, with long, silky coats or no fur. Its unique appearance is part of its appeal, but there are certain changes that could indicate an underlying medical condition.

While everything about our kittens may be unique, weight loss or a change in your kitten's appearance, such as a change in appearance, may result. B. a thin back, require more attention.

Why is my cat thin on the back?While a cat's butt is usually slightly narrower, butt muscle fluid can be caused by age, malnutrition, certain illnesses, or even depression. If you notice a change in your cat's condition, it's important to consult your veterinarian.

But let's dive a little deeper into the causes of your skinny butt, starting with defining what "skinny" means.

What is thin in cat terms?

I'm sure some of us have seen stray cats and been saddened by their scrawny looks, and while chunky cats can be so cute, we also know the problems heavy cats struggle with. But do we know what an ideal cat looks like in terms of height and weight?

Veterinarians often use a Body Condition Score (or BCS) to describe their patients' weight and body condition. Watch this video as veterinarian Christie Long explains the basics of the BCS system:

You canRead more about the rating system herebut the basic description of a cat of ideal body weight includes "ribs visible, no fat felt, strong tuck in of abdomen, lumbar vertebrae easily palpable, waist distinct behind ribs".

The ideal weight can be observed in a cat whose "ribs can be felt but have a minimal layer of fat. Behind the ribs there should be a noticeable waist, a slight crease in the abdomen without fat. And while the ideal cat is well-proportioned, the overweight cat has "more fat, no bloat, no waist, and extensive abdominal fat deposits, etc."

This medial center noted that the muscle condition score is also important. "Muscle condition score is assessed by viewing and palpating the spine, scapula, skull, and ala of the ilia." It is important to remember that "muscle wasting is usually first noticed in the epiaxial muscles on each side of the spine, muscle wasting elsewhere may be more variable."

How can you tell if your cat is thin on the back?

In some cats, weight loss can be more difficult to notice. Some cats lose weight gradually, which can make it less noticeable, and if you have a long-haired cat, the weight loss can go unnoticed under all that cuteness.

If you can't understand if your cat is visually skinny or you're just unsure, use your hands. Feel your cat's ribs, if they look like the knuckles of your hand, they're probably underweight. The feel should remind you of the feeling on the back of your hand where you can't really feel your bones but you can still feel a hardness.

Run your hand over their tummy if sucking on it means they are thin. Visible backbone, very prominent hips and spine are all signs of an underweight cat.Look at your cat from abovecan give you better perspective, a flat tucked in waist is fine, but fat buildup where your cat's tail meets your cat's back or if your cat's hips are sticking out is a sign of a hairball above or below it Weight.

Veterinarians use the body condition score to assess a pet's weight. You can get a body condition rating chart online or from organizations such asAmerican Association of Veterinary Clinicsto determine if your cat is too skinny. However, self-diagnosis is not always advisable, as weight loss can be a sign of something more serious. As such, a visit to your local veterinarian should be your first choice.

Why is your cat thin on the back?

Noticing your cat's weight change can be alarming and becomes quite obvious when you look at their bottom. In these moments, it's important to ask yourself, why is my cat thin on the back? Has anything changed in your everyday life?

1. It is part of your breed's body

Some cats may have different body structures despite being the same weight, some may appear slimmer, others may appear bulkier. like catsMaine Coon and Norwegian Forest CatsThey are hardy animals built to survive in hostile environments. Their massive size is part of their breed's physique. If they were thin on the back, the owner probably wouldn't notice just by looking at them. Therefore, in this case, it is important to feel your cat's body.

But there are cats that you can clearly see that are thin, but that could be part of the breed description.Devon RexFor example, it's a breed of cat known for its slender bodies and thin legs, not unlike the Sphynx, except for the latter's lack of fur. thePeterbaldit is atShort-haired oriental catThey are also medium-sized and agile cats, neither bony nor flabby.

Cornish Rexit is atrussian blueThey are also two breeds with long, lean bodies. They may be muscular, but they have fine bones and can even have a frail appearance, which might confuse you if you think your kitten is skinny from behind.

If you're the owner of one of these breeds, you might be surprised at how skinny your cat looks, especially if it's your first time. Of course, if you notice your kitten losing weight or appearing weak, it's important to get your vet's opinion.

2. Your cat is getting old

As with most living things on this planet, older cats will change and lose muscle mass as they age. and in this case it saysKaquexie. This often happens in cats who have common diseases such as heart and kidney disease or cancer. However, as cats age, muscle atrophy is reportedSarcopenia. This means that even healthy older cats have less muscle mass than younger cats.

Body Condition Score undMuscle Fitness Scorecan help you estimate your cat's body fat percentage and muscle mass. This is important knowledge, especially as your cat gets older and you notice she's getting thin. Identifying muscle wasting early can help achieve better results with the right treatment from your veterinarian.

3. Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite can affect both older cats and young cats, and there can be a variety of reasons for this problematic behavior. You may find your kitty refusing the food completely, or eating a portion here and there that keeps them from starving but reduces their weight significantly.

You don't like the food

It took me a while to figure out which brands are healthy for my cat and which are more fast food. This personal growth allowed my cats to try a few cat foods before we finally decided what they liked and what they needed.

On this trip I saw my cats ate a lot of food and never felt full, I saw them completely reject some brands and others that they tolerated but didn't like very much. When my vet told me to be careful with one of my cats that might have kidney problems, we changed his diet and he is now happier than ever because he is healthy and eating delicious food.

Tail end dilutions could be related to your cat simply eating less. Maybe your cat doesn't like the specific taste of the food or the general taste. They may also not like the texture, some cats prefer dry food, others wet food in pie, mouse or gravy form.

If you've noticed his food bowl is full most of the time, or if he keeps throwing up the food you give him, maybe it's time to find the one food he really enjoys. But as always, you should consult your local veterinarian to rule out a more complicated issue than just being a picky eater.

toothache or pain

Tooth and gum disease is also very common in cats, especially as they get older.studiesshowed that "between 50 and 90% of cats over the age of four will suffer from some form of dental disease, but fortunately the most common forms of these diseases are largely preventable or treatable with proper preventative dental care and supervision".

consequentlyscientific journal, "Cats with severe oral disease had significantly lower intakes of soft and dry food compared to cats with minimal oral disease". Of course, there are some cats that won't stop eating, even when they're in pain. in order ofPrevent discomfort or progression from dental problems to kidney or heart disease, regular oral exam and cleaning by your veterinarian is important. Naturally,Brush your cat's teeth at homeIt also helps prevent the spread of dental disease.

digestive problems

Your cat may have digestive problems from the food, or an indigestion is the cause of the loss of appetite. While occasional abdominal pain is normal for everyone, frequent diarrhea or vomiting can be a sign of an indigestion. If you have a long haired cat you may find that they vomit hairballs which can cause problems with their digestive tract or vice versa.

AfterDr. Jane Brunt, Executive Director of the CATalyst Council and Feline Veterinarian, "It is important for owners to know that hairballs are not normal." It appears that hairballs can be caused by a problem with the gastrointestinal tract.

The doctor. Brunt also explains why hairballs should be a common occurrence, explaining that "the cat has evolved a digestive tract which, when healthy and functioning properly, can handle normal amounts of hair without issue. Even long-haired cats shouldn't develop more than one or two hairballs a year."

4. Underlying condition or disease

While you might be looking for a simple explanation, it's important to look at the answers we might not like. Weight loss can be the result of a specific health condition, and it's important to look for other signs that will help our kitty regain health.

Diabetes Mellitus

In this condition, a cat's body is unable to properly produce or respond to the hormone insulin. In diabetes, levels of the sugar glucose, which is the body's main source of energy, are high. AfterSeek, "It is believed that between 0.2 and 1 percent of cats in the general population have diabetes."

Margarethe Hoenig, Professor at the Institute for Veterinary Clinical Medicine, found that “besides age and gender, obesity is one of the most important risk factors in cats”. She also notes that "educating owners about controlling calorie intake is the single most important aspect of reducing the risk of diabetes in cats."

Weight loss is an important signSo if you notice your cat getting thin on the back, it could be because the body's cells aren't able to absorb glucose from the blood. This drop in glucose means your cat isn't getting the energy it needs. You may notice that your cat's appetite increases, but body fat decreases.

If you notice a loss of muscle mass in your cat while your cat's appetite remains the same or increases, you should consult your veterinarian. Increased thirst and urination can also be signs that your cat has diabetes, but so can other diseases. Your vet will test the levels of glucose in your cat's blood and urine to determine if diabetes is the disease affecting them.


A disease such as hyperthyroidism is quite common in cats and occurs mainly in middle-aged and older cats. An increase inproduction of thyroid hormonesAn enlarged thyroid in a cat's neck leads to an overactive thyroid. This enlargement is usually caused by a benign tumor, but it can also be caused by malignant tumors.

When it comes tohyperthyroidism, you should watch for signs such as weight loss, increased appetite, thirst and urination. You can also expect your cat to vomit, have diarrhea, be hyperactive and you may notice your cat's coat looking matted or greasy. If you have an older cat, be sure to watch out for these signs.

To fully diagnose hyperthyroidism, your vet will need to send blood tests and check your cat's thyroid levels.


DuringFeline obesity is often associated with feline cancer, Weight loss can also be an indicator. Anemia can also be linked to weight loss in conditions like cancer. How cats can be vulnerablecertain types of cancer, such as soft tissue sarcoma, squamous cell carcinoma, lymphoma and some type of blood cancer, be sure to get your veterinarian's opinion.


If you've picked up a stray cat off the street, it's important to have some tests done to make sure your new companion is healthy. Besides cars and parasites, there are many dangerous things for cats and one of them isfeline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Although this virus is similar to HIV, it only infects cats.

FIV attacks the cat's immune system, which, like humans, makes it more susceptible to other infections. Cats infected with this virus may not show any symptoms for years until they contract a serious illness.

Recent studies have found that cats infected with FIV can lead normal lives unless infected with the feline leukemia virus. Infected cats can experience loss of appetite, diarrhea, and other problems that can lead to progressive weight loss.

Digestive disease of the gastrointestinal tract

AfterDR. Sina Marsilio, Tierärztin am Gastrointestinal Laboratory am Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, “The most common clinical signs of digestive disorders in cats are loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea.

It's also important to note that weight loss in older cats is a common sign of GI disease. Chewing or swallowing difficulties, which could have something to do with the cat's teeth or esophagus, are also signs, says Marsilio.

If your cat has access to nature, she may have eaten something unhealthy or something she is allergic to. Dairy products and even poisonous plants can do thisresult in diarrheaand loss of appetite.

There are alsoparasites such as giardia,worms, tapeworms and other bacteria that can affect your cat's digestive system. Even if your cat is strictly an indoor companion, they can still pick up one of these parasites from our outdoor shoes. This is why regular veterinary check-ups are important, as is frequent anti-parasitic medication.

5. Stress, anxiety or depression

Cats can get stressed out by small changes, and most of the time it has to do with the simple fact that they are creatures of habit. If there has been something recentlyChanges in your cat's environmentSo don't be surprised if you find that you eat less and become much leaner as a result.

A change in eating habits or food brand can cause stress. A dirty litter box can also contribute to the discomfort. If your kitten likes to be alone, it can negatively impact their well-being when people come to visit or move into noisy environments.

Having someone new in your home or bringing another pet to keep your cat company while you're at work is enough to make your kitty anxious and even depressed.

On the other hand, if you hadtwo cats that were matedand one of them died, this could also be a reason your cat is depressed. Symptoms are usually loss of appetite, a lethargic state. Aftersome studies, even healthy cats can become ill if their environment changes.

Finally, an older cat can also develop cognitive dysfunction, also known as dementia. AfterASPCA, “Cognitive decline — known as feline cognitive dysfunction, or FCD — affects more than 55% of 11- to 15-year-old cats and more than 80% of 16- to 20-year-old cats.

Your older cat may become disoriented, stop eating and lose weight as a result. If you notice drastic changes in your cat's personality, a veterinarian or behaviorist can help you manage your cat in a way that benefits both of you.

What to do if your cat is thin on the back

As cat owners, we should try to take care of our loving furballs. While cats are very good at hiding their pain, we still need to see through them and look for small cues that indicate pain or discomfort. You will notice that your cat purrs all the time, but this could be an indication that your kitty has been in pain ever since.promotes healing.

If you notice your cat is getting thin from behind, there are a few things you can do to make sure your feline companion is healthy!

Visit to the vet

Any alarming changes in your cat's appearance and behavior should be evaluated by your veterinarian first. Even a seemingly innocuous question like why my cat is thin behind should be taken seriously. If you are unsure, you can call your veterinarian and explain the situation.

A good veterinarian will ask some important, detailed questions about your cat's general well-being. However, since cats can show signs of a more serious condition too late, seeing them lose just a little weight should be enough to see your local veterinary clinic.

Your vet should perform a full physical exam. Depending on your kitten's condition, some blood and laboratory tests will be done. If your kitten needs treatment, you should listen to your veterinarian and follow their instructions. If you are unsure, you can get a second opinion from another veterinarian.

Neglecting annual check-ups, vaccinations, and anti-parasitic medication can be detrimental to your kitten's health. As you get older, these visits may need to become even more frequent.

Feed your cat a food that is high in protein and nutrients

If your vet visit shows that your cat is perfectly healthy, you should take a look at your cat's diet. Whether your cat is overactive or a little lazy, a nutritious diet high in protein is necessary to help your skinny cat regain a healthy weight.

Wet food may also be more beneficial as it is high in protein, which should help maintain your cat's muscle mass. In the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association,Debra L. Zoran, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, it states that "cats are metabolically adapted to preferentially use proteins and fats as energy sources".

High-protein food helps maintain your cat's lean body mass (LBM), as some examples showstudies. Muscles, bones, ligaments and organs are part of the LBM and are the main source of metabolic activity. This activity supports vital actions like mobility, immunity and more.

Your veterinarian may also recommend a special diet for your cat, especially if your cat has a specific medical condition or is an older cat. Maybe you can search for specific informationCat food brands that don't use fillers and contain more protein.You can also consult your veterinarian if your kitty needs high-calorie supplements.

make food tastier

There are cats that can be very picky about food and prefer certain flavors. My cats do not tolerate dry food with fish as the main ingredient and are crazy about chicken. Interestingly, with wet food, it's the other way around. Also, canned goods in pie or mouse form are a big no-no for them, but when there's gravy, they can't get enough!

Perhaps you can improve the flavor of your kitten's food by adding a littletuna waterin the mix. Prepare fresh chicken or beef and use small portions as treats as well. During the summer, you can keep cold food in the fridge, which your kitty might find refreshing and tasty.

Experiment with texture, taste and consistency. Perhaps your kitty prefers small portions several times a day rather than once. Since wet food tends to dry out quickly, this method can help your kitty enjoy fresh portions throughout the day. For parents of cats who are out half the day, it can seem like an impossible task. That's when aautomatic wet feederenter the game.

Keep your pet hydrated

Make sure your kitten always has plenty of water nearby so they can drink at all times. I suggest you keep the water bowl away from food as they may be reluctant to drink. You see that in the desert the cat would not eat near a water source.to avoid contamination.

Water is a cat's primary source of fluids. Wet food can also help your cat stay hydrated, unlike dry food. But besides food and water, there is one more thinga few more things to add to your cat's drinking routine.

Abone brothcan keep your kitten hydrated while adding beneficial nutrients to their diet. Of course, that doesn't mean they don't need regular water. On hot summer days you can freeze bone broth in cubes and give it to your cat as a refreshing treat.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, some tuna water can also help them enjoy their food more when mixed in or even into the water. Of course, don't overdo it, but consider it a treat to keep your kitty happy and extremely hydrated. Avoid tuna that is stored in oil and watch out for the salt levels and you're good to go!

final considerations

When it comes to cat care, there are so many questions we can ask ourselves. Why is my cat so skinny on the back this could be one of them! And that's a good thing, because it means you're an alert and caring cat.

The next step would be to take your kitty to the vet and take care of all of their needs to solve this mystery. And if you got to this section from the start, I'm sure you will do just that.

Now tell us, have you ever wondered to yourself or your vet why my cat is so thin on the back? If so, what did your vet tell you and what did you do to make your cat's butt pop again?


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 03/09/2023

Views: 6166

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.