It can be easy to write off your overweight cat as "extra cuddly," but carrying even a few extra pounds can make a big difference in long-term health for your cat. Here, our Santa Clarita vets explain how to tell if your feline friend is overweight, and when to see the vet.
Long-term Health and Your Cat's Weight
Weight can have a big impact on your cat's overall long-term health. Over time, even a few pounds can increase your cat's risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. With the right care, managing your cat's weight is an easy preventative measure you can take to ensure they live a long and healthy life.
Increased Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
Overweight cats have an increased risk of developing some of the conditions below:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
- Cat's are great jumpers (particularly onto things we don't want them on). If your kitty is having trouble jumping onto their favorite piece of furniture or it looks like they're exerting more energy than they should, their weight could be the issue.
Check for Your Cat's Waistline
- Look at your cat from above while they are standing. You should see a slight indent above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be challenging with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or notice their sides are bulging out it could mean your kitty is carrying excess weight.
Feel Your Cat's Rib Cage
- If your cat is at an ideal weight you should be able to feel your cat's ribs when you run your hand along their chest. Not being able to feel their ribs is a sign they are carrying too much weight.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
- The illustration below will give you a better understanding of your cat's weight category and whether your kitty may be carrying a little extra weight:
Unexplained Weight Gain
Is your cat rapidly gaining weight without an obvious cause?
Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue that requires urgent care. Make an appointment with your vet to get your kitty checked out!
What To Do If You Think Your Cat is Overweight
Cat's have different nutritional needs based on age, lifestyle, and breed.
If you're asking yourself "Is my cat overweight?", the best thing to do is make an appointment to see your veterinarian. Your vet can assess your cat, rule out any underlying conditions that can cause weight gain, and give you advice on how to achieve your kitty's optimal weight.
For cats that are just a little overweight, reducing the size of their meals slightly, cutting back on the treats, and encouraging exercise may be all you need to do to help get your cat's weight back on track.
Cat's with more severe weight issues may need to switch to a specialized food that is formulated to help with weight loss.
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.