Chances are that you think of your cat as perfect cuddling size rather than overweight, but even just a few extra ounces can make a measurable difference to your feline friend's health and longevity. Here, our Apple Valley vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Your Cat's Weight Matters
While the thought may not have crossed your mind, your cat's weight is a very important element of their overall health and well-being. Much like in people, if your cat is carrying some extra weight, they have an increased risk of developing some serious and even life-threatening conditions.
Even as little as a few extra ounces may impact your cat's overall health and vitality.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your cat is carrying some excess weight for their age and size, they may face an increased risk of developing one or even more of the serious conditions listed below:
- Joint pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Skin problems
- Chronic inflammation
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If your cat is at a healthy weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you aren't able to feel your feline friend's ribs, your cat may be overweight.
Check for Your Cat's Waistline
- While they are standing, take a look at your cat from directly above. Try to spot a slight indent just above their hips where their waist should be. For longer-haired cats, this will be trickier than short-haired ones. 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 perfectly designed for jumping. If it takes multiple tries for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, their weight could be the issue.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Take a look at the overweight cat shart below to get a better understanding of the weight category your cat fits into and whether or not they may be carrying too much weight.
How to Get Your Feline Friend's Weight Back On-track
Your cat's lifestyle, breed and age can all have a pretty significant impact on your kitty's nutritional needs.
If you suspect that your cat may be overweight, make an appointment to see your vet. At this checkup, your vet will measure your cat's current weight and compare it to their optimal weight, providing you with a nutritional plan to help you companion reach their goal.
For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters.
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
Has your cat suddenly begun putting on weight without any obvious cause? If so, it's time to see your vet. Unexplained weight gain may 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.