Although many pet owners do not see the problem, carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's overall health and longevity. Our Stanwood vets explain how you can tell if you have an overweight cat.

Why Your Cat's Weight Matters

Your cat's weight is likely not something you worry about, but weight is an important element of your cat's overall health.

Your cat's body was made to be graceful with lean muscles. When they are carrying extra weight the risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions increases dramatically. As little as a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.

Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats

If your feline friend is carrying some extra weight they face an increased risk of developing one or more of the serious conditions listed below:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Skin problems

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight

Struggling to Jump

  • A cat's body is perfectly designed for jumping. 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 cause.

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 its waist should be. If your cat is long-haired or just fluffy try doing this when you are bathing them. If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it means that your cat is probably carrying excess weight.

Feel for Your Cat's Ribs

  • If your feline friend is at its correct weight you should be able to feel its ribs by running your hand along its chest. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, your cat may be overweight.

Use Our Overweight Cat Chart

  • Look over the overweight cat chart 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, Stanwood Vet

Getting Your Cat Back to a Healthy Weight

If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. If your vet concludes that the excess weight is not a symptom of another health issue, they will assess your cat's current weight and then let you know what your cat's optimal weight is and how to help your cat reach their weight loss goals.

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. You might want to take some extra time to play with them or get them some new toys for more exercise.

Unexplained Weight Gain

Has your cat suddenly started to gain weight without cause? Then it's time to see your vet for an exam. 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. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your animal's condition.

Worried about your cat's waistline? Contact our office to book an appointment to consult with one of our vets.