Although you might think that your feline friend is just big and cuddly, carrying a few extra pounds—or even just ounces—can make a significant difference in your cat's health and longevity. Here, our Torrance vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Why Your Cat's Weight Matters
Your cat's weight may not be something you often worry about, but your feline friend's weight when compared to their size is a large factor in their overall health.
Just like in people, when your cat is carrying some extra weight—be that pounds or even just ounces—they will be at a higher risk level for developing life-threatening conditions. Even just a little weight can have a serious impact on your cat's long-term health and vitality.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your cat's body is carrying some extra weight, they face an increased risk of developing one or more of the following weight-0related conditions.
- Urinary tract infections
- Chronic inflammation
- Joint pain
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Struggling to Jump
- Your cat's body is well-designed for jumping. If you notice that it takes more tries than usual to jump up onto your cat's favorite piece of furniture or that your cat gives up trying altogether, their weight may be affecting them.
Check for Your Cat's Waistline
- While your cat is standing, try looking down at them from directly above. It may be difficult to spot a slight indent just above their hips, but it should be there. If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging out, it means your cat is likely carrying some extra weight,
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If your feline friend is at their correct weight you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, your cat may be overweight.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Look over the chart below to get a better understanding of whether or not your cat is overweight and their specific weight category.
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 suspect that your cat may be overweight, make an appointment with your vet to see your vet. They will be able to assess your cat's current weight and let you know what their optimal healthy weight would be. They will also be able to guide you in how to help your cat reach these 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 them over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with weight loss for cats.
Unexplained Weight Gain
Has your cat started gaining weight, seemingly without any cause? Then it is time to see your vet. Unexplained gains in weight may be a symptom of a serious 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.