It's easy to think your bigger cat is just cuddlier and cuter the way they are, but those few extra pounds could be largely impacting their health. Our Boulder and Westminster vets explain how to tell if your cat is overweight and the associated health risks.
Why Your Cat's Weight Matters
Weight is an important element to your cat's overall health. Much like people, when your cat is carrying extra weight their risk of developing weight-related health issues rises. As little as a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
Certain conditions are more likely to manifest in a cat that is overweight, including the following:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
- 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.
- 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.
- If you run your hand along the side of your feline companion's chest, you should be able to feel their ribs. This indicates that they are at the appropriate weight. If you are unable to feel your cat's ribs, it is possible that your cat is overweight.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- The chart that follows will help you gain a better understanding of the weight category that your cat falls into, as well as whether or not your cat may be carrying an additional pound or two.
How to Get Your Kitty's Weight Back On-track
A cat's breed, weight and age can all contribute 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 and then let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is and how to help your cat reach their weight loss goals.
Even if your cat is only slightly overweight, it is likely to be in your best interest to continue feeding them the same diet, but to reduce the amount of food they consume at each meal until they reach a healthier weight.
It may be best to switch your cat over to a specialized food that is formulated to assist with feline weight loss if your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight. This is because the purpose of the food is to help your cat lose weight.
Unexplained Weight Gain
Please make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible for an examination if you have observed that your cat has begun to gain weight for what appears to be no apparent reason.
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.