Overweight Cats: Extra Ounces Matter
For many pet owners, their kitty's weight isn't high on the list of concerns. However, weight is an important factor in your cat's overall health.
Similar to people, if your cat is carrying extra weight, they are at a dramatically higher risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. As little as a few extra ounces can have a significant effect on your feline companion's overall health and vitality.
Health Risks for Overweight Cats
If your furry friend is carrying extra weight, they face an increased risk of developing one or more of these serious conditions:
- Joint pain
- Skin problems
- Chronic inflammation
- Urinary tract infections
How to Tell If Your Cat is Overweight
Here are a few common methods for gauging whether you cat may have a weight issue:
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
Try running your hand along your kitty's chest — you should be able to feel their ribs if they are at their correct weight. If this is impossible, your cat may be overweight.
Struggling to Jump
A cat's body is perfectly designed for jumping. If your cat needs multiple attempts to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat has given up altogether, their weight could be the issue.
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.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
To better understand your cat's weight category, review the overweight cat chart below to see whether you cat might be carrying an extra pound or two.
How to Get Your Kitty's Weight Back on Track
Your kitty's breed, age, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to their nutritional needs.
If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian will assess your cat's current weight then let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is and how to help your cat reach their weight loss goals.
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 has suddenly started to gain weight without cause? Then it's time to see your vet for an exam! 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.