You may think of your cat as extra cuddly, but carrying only a few extra ounces can make a big difference for your feline friend's overall health and longevity. Here, our Gilbert vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight and what to do about it.
Your Cat's Weight Affects Their Health
Just like in people, carrying some extra weight increases the risk that you cat will develop some serious and even life-threatening conditions. As little weight as a few extra ounces can even have a measurable impact inf your cat's overall health and vitality.
Increased Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your cat is carrying excess weight on their body, they face an increased risk of developing some of the following conditions:
- Joint pain
- Skin problems
- Chronic inflammation
- Urinary tract infections
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
If your cat is at their correct weight, you should be able to easily feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you aren't able to feel your cat' ribs in this way, there is a pretty good chance that your feline friend is overweight.
Can't See Your Cat's Waistline
Look down at your cat from directly above. If your cat is at a good weight for their size, you should be able to see a slight indent just above their hips where their waist should be. If you aren't able to see a clear waist or if you notice bulging on their sides, your cat may be carrying some excess weight,
Trouble Jumping Up On To Furniture
Felines are built to jump. If it takes multiple tries for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, their weight could be the issue.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
take a look at the overweight cat chart below in order to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category and whether or not your companion is carrying some extra weight.
How to Get Your Feline Friend's Weight Back On-track
Your cat's age, breed and lifestyle all make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of your pet.
If you think your cat may be overweight, make an appointment to see your veterinarian. They will be able to measure your cat's exact weight and determine whether that is close to their healthy, optimal weight or not.
If they determine that it's best for your cat to lose weight, they will provide you with recommendations on how to help your cat shed these extra ounces as safely as possible.
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 cat over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your cat suddenly begins gaining or losing weight without any reason, it's time to bring them in to see your vet. Exexplainable weight gain may 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.