While you may think of your cat as just big and cuddly, carrying only a few extra ounces to make a big difference to your cat's overall health and longevity. Here, our Plains vets explain how to tell if your cat is overweight.
Why Your Cat's Weight Matters
Your cat's weight is likely not something you worry about, but weight is an important element of your cat's overall health.
Just like people, when your cat carries extra weight, their risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening conditions will increase significantly. With as little as a few extra ounces, your cat may experience notable effects on their overall health and vitality.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
Is your kitty carries extra weight, they may face an increased risk of developing one or more of the serious conditions listed below:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Struggling to Jump
- Your cat's body is designed to be an expert jumper. If you notice that it's taking your kitty multiple tried to jump up and onto their favourite piece of furniture in your home or give up altogether, your cat's weight might be at the root of the issue.
Check for Your Cat's Waistline
- While your cat is standing, take a look at the from directly above. Try to spot a small indent located just above their hips, where their waist should be (this may be a bit trick in long-haired cats). If you aren't able to see your cat's waist or if their sides are bulging out, that means your feline friend is probably carrying some excess 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
- Take a look at the overweight cat chart below or the chart in our office to get a better understanding of your pet's weight category and whether or not your feline friend may be carrying more weight than is healthy.
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 to see your vet as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your cat's current weight and then let you know what your cats optimal weight is and how to help them meet their 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 has to lose a significant amount of weight, it may be best to switch them over to a specialized food that is formulated to help them with 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.