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 Pflugerville 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
An overweight cat is more likely to develop the following conditions:
- 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 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
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.
If your cat is just slightly overweight, it may be best to keep their current diet but reduce portion sizes at each meal until they return to a healthier weight.
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
If you noticed your cat has started to gain weight with seemingly no cause, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible for an exam.
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.