You may think of your cat as just cuddly but carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's overall health and longevity. In today's blog our Santa Cruz vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Weight & Health
Carrying extra weight can be a serious risk to your cat's health and can even their longevity. Overweight cats face an increased risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. Just a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.
Common Overweight Cat Health Issues
If your feline friend is carrying excess weight they face an increased risk of developing the following conditions:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
Is Your Cat Overweight?
If you're concerned about your cat's size follow the tips below to determine whether your cat may be overweight.
- Look down at your cat from directly above and look for a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a bit more challenging with long-haired cats). No clear waist or bulging sides means that your kitty may be carrying excess weight.
Trouble Jumping Up
- Felines are built to jump. 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.
Can't Feel Kitty's Ribs
- If your kitty 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, there's a good chance that your cat is overweight.
Compare Your Kitty to Illustrations on Cat Weight Chart
- Check out our overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra few ounces.
How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight
Your cat's age, breed, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of your pet.
If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. They can access your cat's current weight and let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is.
If your vet recommends that your cat lose weight they will provide you with recommendations on how to help your cat shed those extra ounces safely.
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 feline friend needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it may be best to switch your cat over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.
What to do About Sudden or Unexplained Weight Gain
If your kitty 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.