If your cat is carrying extra weight there's a good chance that you simply think of them as extra cuddly not unhealthy, but carrying just a few excess ounces can have a negative impact on your cat's overall health and longevity. Today our Springfield vets explain how to tell if your feline friend is overweight.
Does it really matter if my cat is a little chubby?
Although it may not have crossed your mind, your cat's weight is an important element of their overall health. Much like people, when your kitty is carrying extra weight their risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions increases substantially. As little as a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.
What are the health risks faced by overweight cats?
If your kitty is carrying excess weight they 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 can I tell if my cat is overweight?
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.
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.
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.
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.
What's the best way to help my cat lose weight safely?
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 access 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.
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.
My cat isn't overeating, but keeps gaining weight, why?
If your cat has suddenly begun to put on weight without cause, 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.