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How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight

How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight

Perhaps you've never given your cat's weight much thought, but carrying just a couple of extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's wellbeing. Here, Horizon Veterinary Clinic explains how you can tell if you have an overweight cat.

Why Your Cat's Weight Matters

As with people, carrying extra weight can pose a number of serious health risks for cats. Just a couple of excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's health and vitality.

Health Risks for Overweight Cats

Cat's carrying excess weight face an increased risk of developing: 

  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • joint pain
  • chronic inflammation

Overweight cats can also begin to neglect to groom. A reluctance to groom themselves properly can lead to skin issues and even urinary tract infections.

Is My Cat Overweight? Ways To Tell

Feel for Their Ribs

When a cat is at its proper weight, you should be able to feel its ribs by running your hand along its chest gently. The amount of tissue over your cat's ribs should be comparable to the amount of tissue on the backs of your hands. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, he or she is most likely overweight.

No Waist

This may be more difficult with long-haired cats, but try looking down at your cat from directly above. You should be able to see a slight indent just above the hips where your cat's waist should be. A lack of waist or bulging sides could indicate that your cat is overweight.

Difficulty Jumping Up on Furniture

Cats are made to jump. If your cat takes several attempts to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or gives up altogether. Weight could be the problem.

Use This 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.

Overweight cat chart, Thomasville Vet

How to Get Your Cat's Weight Back On-track

Factors like age, breed, and lifestyle make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of individual cats.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect your cat is overweight. Your vet will be able to assess your cat's weight and advise you on the best weight for your cat.

Your veterinarian may advise you to help your cat lose weight and provide you with tips on how to do so safely.

If your cat is just slightly overweight, your vet may recommend something as simple as continuing to feed them their regular food but reducing the size of each meal.

If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, switching to a specialized food designed to aid in feline weight loss may be necessary.

If you think your cat may be overweight, contact our Brighton vets to book an appointment today.

New Patients Welcome

Horizon Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Brighton companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Book Online (303) 659-0385