You might think that it's alright if your kitty is carrying a couple of extra pounds but, it could actually impact their overall long-term health. So, today our Danbury vets share a list of ways you can tell if your cat is overweight, as well as how you could help them.
Is Your Cat Overweight?
Odds are your kitty's weight doesn't come to mind very often but, your cat's weight plays an important part in their overall health and longevity.
Like people, when your cat holds several extra pounds they are at an increased risk of developing some serious and even life-threatening conditions. Just a few excess ounces could significantly impact the well-being of your furry companion.
Diseases Connected to Cat Obesity
Overweight cats are at an increased risk of developing a variety of serious conditions including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Chronic inflammation
- Joint pain
- Skin problems
Determining if Your Cat is Overweight
Here we share a list of ways you may be able to tell if your cat is overweight. If you believe your kitty is holding some extra ounces or even pounds, a trip to your primary care veterinarian could help you rule out serious underlying problems and provide you with ways you can help your kitty achieve a healthy weight.
Struggling to Jump
- The body of a cat is perfectly designed for jumping and running. If it takes your kitty more than one attempt to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, there is a good chance their weight may be the problem.
Check for Your Cat's Waistline
- While your cat is standing, look down at them from directly above. Try to find a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a bit tricky with long-haired cats). If you are unable to see their waist or if their sides are bulging it might mean your kitty is carrying excess weight.
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If 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.
Check Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Review the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your kitty might be carrying an extra pound or two.
Reasons Why Your Cat May be Overweight
Below is a list of some common reasons why cats can become overweight:
- Neutering/ spaying
- Your cat is given too many treats
- They aren't getting enough exercise
- Their food is high in calories
- Older cats have different nutritional needs than younger cats and you are still feeding your cat the same food
Several causes of cat weight gain that require veterinary care are:
- Cushing's Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism)
- Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma)
Ways To Help Your Cat Obtain a Healthy Weight
The breed, age, and lifestyle of your feline friend can make a significant difference in their nutritional needs.
If you believe your cat is overweight contact your vet to book an appointment. Your veterinarian will be able to access the current weight of your cat and tell you what your kitty's optimal weight is. They can also tell you ways you can help your kitty achieve a healthier size.
Cats that are just a little overweight may be able to simply continue with their regular food but enjoy more strictly controlled portion sizes.
If your cat has to lose a larger amount of weight, it might be best to change their diet to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your cat has suddenly started putting on weight without any clear reason, it's time to take them to the 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.