You might just think your cat is getting a little fluffy, but just a few extra pounds under that fur can make a world of difference to your cat's health and longevity. Our Suffolk County vets are here to give you the tools you need to tell if your cat is overweight.
Why Your Cat's Weight Matters
Oftentimes, cat owners fail to worry about, or even think about their cat's weight, but it can be an important factor in their overall health.
Just like us, when cats are overweight, they run the risk of developing serious and often life-threatening disorders. Even just a few extra ounces can have a radical effect on your cats health and vitallity.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your feline friend is a little overweight 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
- A cat's body is perfectly designed for jumping. If it takes multiple tries for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives 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.
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 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 feeding and nutritional needs.
If you suspect your cat is overweight, it's a good idea to take them in for a vet checkup. Your vet will gauge their current weight and and determine the optimal weight your cat is supposed to be at, and give you tips to help your cat reach that goal.
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! 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.