Although a few extra pounds might make your feline friend appear cute and cuddly, carrying even a little extra weight can have a negative long-term effect on your cat. Today, our West Chester vets discuss some signs that might indicate your cat is overweight.
Is my cat overweight?
Chances are that you don't give a whole lot of thought to your cat's weight, but your kitty's weight is an important element of their overall health and longevity.
When your feline friend is carrying extra weight it increases their risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. As little as a few ounces of excess weight can have a significant impact on your cat's wellbeing.
Diseases Linked to Obesity in Cats
Cats that are overweight face an increased risk of developing a number of serious conditions including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Below, our West Chester vets offer a few suggestions on how to tell if you have an overweight cat. It is always a good idea to bring your cat in for regular wellness exams, that way your vet can examine your cat in person and let you know if they are at a healthy weight.
Check Out the Overweight Cat Chart:
The illustrations in the overweight cat chart above can help you to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two. Which illustration best represents the size of your cat?
Is your feline friend struggling to run or jump? Cat's bodies are naturally agile and they should be able to handle low jumps with ease. If you notice your cat taking a few attempts to jump onto low surfaces or getting tired after minor exertions, it could be due to excess weight.
Look for Your Cat's WaistWhile 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 harder with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it means that your feline friend is probably carrying excess weight.
Your Cat's Ribs Should Be Easy to FeelIf your cat is about the right weight you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you can't feel your kitty's ribs, your cat may be overweight.
How To Help Your Cat Achieve a Healthy Weight
Your cat's ideal weight will depend on the breed, age, and overall size of your cat.
If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian can access your cat's current weight then let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is and how to help your furry friend achieve a healthier size.
If your cat is just a little overweight, you may simply be able to cut down on their portion sizes or reduce the number of extra treats you are giving them.
If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, your vet may recommend you switch your cat's food to a prescription diet that is specifically formulated to help with feline weight loss.
Gaining Weight for No Apparent Reason
If your cat has suddenly begun to put on weight and you're not sure why it's time to see your vet. Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue and should be investigated.
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.