You may think of your feline family member as pleasantly big and cuddly, but carrying extra weight can make a significant difference to their overall health and longevity. Today, our Boynton Beach vets provide tips to help you tell if your cat is overweight and what to do.
The Relationship Between Your Cat's Health & Weight
Your cat's weight may not be something you worry about, but weight is an important element of your cat's overall health. As with people, when your cat is carrying extra weight, their risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening conditions increases dramatically. Even a few extra ounces can have a significant negative impact on your kitty's vitality and overall health.
If your feline friend is overweight, they are more likely to get one or more of the serious conditions listed below.
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
Is my cat overweight?
In some cases it can be challenging to tell if a cat is overweight. In part this can be because we love our feline friends and just don't notice, but long fur can also make judging the size of your cat difficult. To determine whether your cat is overweight here are a few easy tips:
Is your cat 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 issue.
Can you see your cat's waistline?
- During your cat's standing, look down at them from directly above. Try to find a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be tricky with long-haired cats) If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging, try to find a slight indent just above their hips.
Can you feel your cat's ribcage?
- If your feline friend is at their correct weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, your cat may be overweight.
How does your cat compare to these illustrations?
- Check out the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category and whether your cat is carrying an extra pound or two.
What can I do to help my cat slim down?
Your cat's breed, age, and lifestyle all have a significant impact on their nutrition needs.
If you suspect that your cat may be overweight, please schedule an appointment to see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will assess your cat's current weight and let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is. They will then help your cat reach their weight loss goals.
For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food and reducing the size of each meal could help bring their weight back within healthy parameters.
If your cat needs to lose weight, it may be best to switch your cat to a special diet formulated to help with weight loss.
I don't know why my cat has suddenly put on weight. What should I do?
Has your cat has 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 pet's condition.