Although you may think of your feline friend as big and cuddly, carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's overall health and longevity. Our Harrisburg 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.
Much like people, when your cat is carrying extra weight their risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions increases dramatically. 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
If your feline friend is overweight, he or she is more likely to develop one or more of the serious conditions listed below:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
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 cat is of normal weight, you should be able to feel its ribs by running your hand along its chest. 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.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect your cat is overweight. Your veterinarian will evaluate your cat's current weight and then advise you on how to help your cat achieve 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.
Unexplained Weight Gain
Is your cat suddenly gaining weight for no apparent reason? Then it's time to see your veterinarian for an examination! Unexplained weight gain can be a sign of a more serious health problem.
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.