Yellow Fat Disease (Stertitis)

Common info

Yellow fat disease is a disease caused by lacking vitamin E, affecting mammals especially in cats, rarely found in dogs that are caused by getting too much-unsaturated food such as omega-3, fish oil, especially in tuna fish. It causes inflammation of fat tissue and the accumulation of ceroid in fat cells.


Vitamin E is responsible for responding to the cell membrane and fat burn in the tissues, so the lack of vitamin E causes damage to the cells in the body and most importantly to the heart muscle structure and nerves. The disease can be fatal. It is also exciting to the veterinary industry. The yellow fat disease is often known as Steatitic or Pansteatitis is a condition that usually occurs in cats from eating foods that contain a lot of unsaturated fats and lack of vitamins which resulting in receiving too much fat.


The main cause of Yellow fat disease is improper food intake (lack of vitamin E). Mostly, the owners will feed them with tuna and liver that purchased in the market. But those foods are not directly made for cats. It may cause the cat to be accustomed to the taste and refuse to eat other food or food for cats. Another cause is lacking in vitamin E which will affect the fat burning process in tissues.


  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depressed
  • Messy hair, dark skin
  • Thin skin
  • Depress
  • Pain
  •  Don't want to move

Symptoms that can occur are fever, lethargy, pale/dirty, sensitive skin, pain, the blemish on the skin, nausea or vomiting.

Treatment and Prevention

If the Yellow fat disease is not being treated, animals may die. Therefore, these principles should be followed.

  • Limit food that made from fish
  • Vitamin E supplement intake
  • They may be required to be fed through a hose or feeding tube to help with eating
  • Medication to reduce pain and inflammation in the muscles

Animals should always receive proper food and nutrition.

  1. Wikipedia | Pansteatitis
  2. Wag! | Yellow Fat Disease in Cats
  3. The Free Dictionary | Yellow fat disease
  4. Alexander F. Koutinas et al,. 1993. Pansteatitis (Steatitis, “Yellow Fat Disease”) in the Cat: A Review Article and Report of Four Spontaneous Cases. Veterinary Dermatology. 3; 10 1 – 106.
  5. MMRE Niza et al,. 2003. Feline pansteatitis revisited: hazards of unbalanced home-made diets. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery . 5: 271–277.
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