Is Your Cat Overweight? How You Can Tell

If your cat is overweight, their long-term health could be at risk. Today our Glendale vets discuss ways you can tell if your cat is overweight and share some advice on how you can get your kitty back down to a healthy size.

Is My Cat Overweight?

Your cat's weight is probably something you don't think about very often but, the weight of your feline friend plays an essential role in their overall health and lifespan. Similar to humans, when cats put on some extra pounds they have a higher risk of developing some potentially life-threatening conditions. Just a few excess pounds could significantly impact the wellbeing of your adorable kitty.

Ways to Determine If Your Cat Is Overweight

Here we have listed some ways that can help you determine if your cat is overweight.  If you suspect your cat is holding some extra ounces or even pounds, take them to the vet and your veterinarian can help you rule out any underlying health conditions and offer you advice for getting your furry friend back to a healthy weight.

Troubles Jumping

  • A cat's body is perfectly built for running and jumping. If it takes your cat multiple attempts to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your kitty gives up altogether, there's a fair chance that weight is the problem.

Checking Your Kitty's Waistline

  • Look down at your cat from directly above when they are standing. Try to spot a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a little tough if you have a cat with long fur). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it could mean your cat is holding some excess weight.

Find Your Cat's Ribs

  • If your kitty is about the right weight, when you run your hand along their chest you should be able to feel their ribs. If you are unable to feel your feline friend's ribs, your cat might be overweight.

Use The Cat Weight Chart

  • Examine the overweight cat chart below to obtain a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your kitty may be carrying extra weight.

Overweight cat chart, Memphis Vet

Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Could be Overweight

Here are a few of the most common causes of weight gain in cats:

  • They aren't getting enough exercise
  • Their food is high in calories
  • Neutering/ spaying
  • Your cat is given too many treats
  • The nutritional requirements of older cats are different than younger cats and you are still giving them the same food

Below are some reasons for weight gain in cats that needs to be addressed by a veterinarian:

  • Cushing's Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism)
  • Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma)
  • Hyperthyroidism

Ways To Help Your Kitty Get Back to a Healthy Weight

The breed, age, and lifestyle of your cat can make a significant difference in their nutritional requirements.

If you think your feline friend might be overweight contact your veterinarian to book an appointment. The vet will be able to obtain the current weight of your cat and inform you what your kitty's optimal weight is. They could also tell you how you can help your cat get to a healthier size.

Cats that are just a little overweight might be able to continue with their regular food but enjoy more strictly controlled portion sizes.

If your cat has to lose a significant amount of weight, it might 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 cat has suddenly started putting on weight without cause, it's time to see your 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.

Do you think your feline companion might be overweight? Contact our veterinary team in Glendale today to book an appointment.