Being overweight can have a negative impact on your cat's overall health and wellbeing. Today, our Rockland County vets explain how to tell if your cat is overweight and how you can help them get back on track.
Why Your Cat's Weight Matters
You probably don't often think about your cat's weight, but it is an important element of their overall health. You might write them off as being "a little extra fluffy," but even a few extra ounces can have a negative impact on your cat's lifelong health.
When your cat is overweight they increase their risk of developing some serious, and potentially life-threatening conditions.
This is why it is a good idea to see your vet for regular pet checkups. Your vet will be able to assess your cat's weight and nutritional needs and offer advice on how to get your cat to their optimal weight for their age, breed, and size.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your feline friend is carrying extra 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 To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Struggling to Jump
- By nature, most cats are great jumpers. If you notice your cat is struggling to jump, seem exerted by small amounts of exercise, or give up on jumping entirely, their weight may 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 is 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 Help Your Cat Reach Their Ideal Weight
If your cat is overweight, don't fret. There are things you can do to help get them back on track.
If you think your cat might be overweight the first thing to do is take them to the vet to be assessed. A cat's ideal size will vary based on age, breed, and size.
If your cat is just a little overweight you should be able to stick to their regular food but slightly reduce the size of each meal. Your vet will be able to guide you on the proper portion size. You can also cut back on the number of treats you are feeding them.
If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, your vet may recommend that you 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.