Although your feline friend might look cute and "fluffy" with a few extra pounds, carrying extra weight can be detrimental to your cat's overall health. Here, our Newtown vets offer advice on how to tell if your cat is overweight and how you can help them reach their optimal size.
How does my cat's weight affect their overall health?
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your cat's overall wellbeing. Carrying even a few extra ounces can negatively impact their long-term wellbeing and cause your cat to have an increased risk of developing:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
Is my cat overweight?
Below are a few useful tips our Newtown vets recommend for how to tell if your cat is overweight. It is also a good idea to bring your cat to their vet for regular wellness exams. This allows your vet to discuss your cat's weight with you and offer guidance on how to help them achieve their optimal size.
- Cats are natural jumpers—if you notice your feline friend is having trouble jumping onto low surfaces they once reached with ease, their weight might 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 challenging with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it means that your kitty is could be carrying excess weight.
Feel Your Cat's Rib Cage
- When a cat is at their ideal weight you should be able to feel their ribs when you run your hands along their chest. If you can't feel your kitty's ribs, it could be a sign that your feline friend is overweight.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- The illustration below offers a visual guide to understanding your cat's weight category:
How to Best Manage Your Cat's Weight
Your cat's optimal weight and nutritional needs will depend on their breed, size, and age.
If your cat is only carrying a little bit of excess weight, helping them slim down might just mean reducing their portion sizes slightly, feeding them fewer treats, and encouraging extra playtime.
If your cat is significantly overweight, your vet might recommend switching them to a specialized diet that is formulated to help them lose weight.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your cat is rapidly gaining weight but has not experienced any change in their routine, it could be a symptom of a more serious underlying internal medicine issue. You should make an appointment to speak with your vet as soon as possible.
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.