You may not consider your cat's weight to be an issue, but carrying a few extra ounces can make a significant difference in your kitty's overall health and longevity. Today, our Ocala veterinarians offer advice on how to determine if your cat is overweight.
Your Cat's Weight & Health
While you may not think about it, your cat's weight is an important aspect of their overall health. When your kitty is overweight, he or she is at a higher risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, just like people. A few extra ounces can make a big difference in your cat's vitality and overall health.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your feline friend is carrying the excess weight they face an increased risk of developing these serious conditions:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
To determine whether your kitty is overweight try the tips below.
Look for Your Cat's Waistline
- Look down from above at your cat while they are standing. Look for a small indentation 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, your cat is most likely carrying extra weight.
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- When your cat is at a healthy weight you should be able to slightly feel their ribs by gently running your hand along their chest. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, your cat may be overweight.
Struggling to Jump
- Cats are built to be quick runners and jumpers. If your cat has to try several times before jumping up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up entirely, their weight could be the issue.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Look over the illustration below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two.
Getting Your Cat's Weight Back On-track
Your cat'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 assess your cat's current weight and then advise you on how to help your feline friend reach their weight loss goals.
If your cat is just a little overweight, you may be able to continue feeding them their regular food but at reduced portion sizes.
If, on the other hand, 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 cats lose weight.
Unexplained Weight Gain
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.