While you may think of your cat as cute and cuddly, carrying extra weight can negatively impact your cat's health and longevity. Here, our Greensboro vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight, and what you should do.
Health & Weight in Cats
It likely hasn't crossed your mind, but your cat's weight is an essential element of their overall health and longevity.
Just like us, when your feline friend is carrying extra weight their risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions increases substantially. As little as a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's well-being.
Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
Obesity in cats is linked to an increased risk of developing a number of serious conditions including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How You Can Tell If Your Cat May Be Overweight
Struggling to Jump
- A cat's body is built for running and jumping. If it takes your kitty multiple tries to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, their weight could be the issue.
Check for Your Cat's Waistline
- While 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 can be a bit tricky 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.
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If your cat 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 kitty's ribs, your cat may be overweight.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Look over the overweight cat chart below to better understand your cat's weight category and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two.
How to Get Your Kitty's Weight Back On-track
Your cat's breed, age, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to their nutritional needs.
If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian can assess your cat's current weight and then let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is and how to help your furry friend achieve a healthier weight.
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 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 with feline weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your pet suddenly begins 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.