You may think that your cat is a good cuddling size, but carrying even a few extra ounces can negatively affect your kitty's health and longevity. Here, our Avon vets explain how to tell if your cat is overweight and what to do if they are.
Your Cat's Weight Matters
Although you not have thought about it, your cat's weight is an important part of their overall health. Just like people, if your cat carries extra weight, they begin to run the risk of developing serious and possibly life-threatening conditions. As little as a few excess ounces can have a measurable impact on your feline friend's long-term health and well-being.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your kitty is carrying excess weight they face an increased risk of developing one or more of the serious conditions listed below:
- Chronic inflammation
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If your kitty is at their correct weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hands across their chest. If you can't, your cat may overweight.
Check for Your Cat's Waistline
- While your cat is standing, look down at them from directly above. Try to spot a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a bit tricky with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it means that your kitty is probably carrying excess weight.
Struggling to Jump
- A cat's body is well-designed for jumping. If your kitty takes multiple tries to jump up onto a piece of furniture, or if you notice them giving up altogether, they weight may be an issue.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Look over the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two.
How to Get Your Feline Friend's Weight Back On-track
Your kitty's breed, age, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to their nutritional needs.
If you suspect that your cat may be overweight, make an appointment to see your vet. They will be able to determine your cat's current weight and then let you know how that compares to their optimal weight. They may also have advice on how to reach that goal.
For cats that are only a bit overweight, reducing the size of each of their meals may be enough to get them back to their healthy selves.
If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it may be best to switch your kitty over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your cat has suddenly begun to put on weight without cause, it's time to see your vet. Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.