You may just think of your feline friend as extra cuddly rather than overweight, but carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to the health, well-being and longevity of your feline friend. Today, our Apple Valley vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Why Your Cat's Weight Matters
Carrying extra weight on their body can increase your cat's risk of developing a number of different and serious conditions throughout their life (and shorten their life expectancy to boot). As little as a few excess ounces can have an outsized impact on your cat's overall health and vitality.
Health Risks for Overweight Cats
Carrying extra weight also means that your cat faces increased risk of developing the following conditions over the course of their life.
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
Not only that, but in some instances, cats that are overweight show a reluctance to groom themselves properly. This can lead to skin issues and even urinary tract infections.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
If your cat is at about their correct weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by gently running your hand along their chest. The amount of tissue over your kitty's ribs should be similar to that on the backs of your hands. If you can't feel your cat's ribs there's a good chance that your cat is overweight.
No Visible Waistline
Stand above your cat and look down, you should be able to see a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a bit more challenging with long-haired cats). No visible waist or sides that bulge means that your feline friend may be carrying excess weight.
Trouble Jumping Up On To Furniture
Cats are built for jumping around. If you notice that it takes your cat multiple attempts to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture or if they give up altogether, this could be an indication that their weight is an issue.
Getting Your Cat's Weight Back On-track
Factors like breed, age and lifestyle can all make significant differences to the nutritional needs of your individual animals.
It's important that you bring your cat in to see us if you think they may be overweight. Your vet will be able to access your cat's weight and let you know what their optimal weight should be based on an overweight cat chart.
If the vet recommends that your cat lose weight they will provide you with instructions on how to help your kitty safely shed those extra ounces.
If your cat's just a little overweight, something as simple as sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal you could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters.
All of that being said, if your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, switching to a specially formulated food to help with feline weight loss may be your kitty's best for losing weight.
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.