Although you may think of your cat as large and cuddly, carrying just a few more ounces may make a significant impact on your cat's overall health and longevity. Our Boulder County vets explain how you can tell if you have an overweight cat.
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.
When your cat is carrying additional weight, their chance of getting several serious and sometimes life-threatening illnesses grows substantially, just like in humans. A few extra ounces may make a big difference in your cat's energy and general health.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your feline friend is carrying extra weight, they face an increased risk of developing one or more of the serious conditions listed below:
- Urinary tract infections
- Skin problems
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Struggling to Jump
- The physique of a cat is well suited to leaping. If your cat has to try many times before jumping up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat quits up entirely, their weight might be the problem.
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.
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- By sliding your palm over your feline friend's chest, you should be able to feel their ribs if they are at the proper weight. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, he or she is probably overweight.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Look over the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may 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.
By sliding your palm over your feline friend's chest, you should be able to feel their ribs if they are at the proper weight. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, they're probably overweight.
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! 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.