Is My Cat Overweight?

You may just think of your cat as cute a cuddly, but carrying some extra weight—even just a few ounces—can impact their long-term health. Here, our Ventura vets can explain how to tell if your cat is overweight and what to do to help your cat maintain a healthier weight.

Your Overweight Cat

The chances are that you don't give a whole lot of thought to your cat's weight. They may just be cute and cuddly to you. But your feline friend's weight plays a very important part in your pet's overall health and longevity. 

Just like people, when your feline friend is carrying some extra weight, they are at a greater risk of developing some serious and even life-threatening health conditions. Even as little as a few extra ounces can impact your cat's long-term health and well-being.

Diseases Linked to Obesity in Cats

Overweight cats face an increased risk of developing a number of different and serious conditions including:

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

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight

Here are a few suggestions about how to tell if your feline friend overoverweight. If your believe that your cat is carrying a few extra ounces (or even pounds), a trip to your veterinarians will be able to help you rule out serious underlying conditions and to provide you with strategies for getting your feline friend back to excellent health.

Struggling to Jump

  • Your cat's body is specially built for running and jumping. If your cat requires multiple tries to leap up to their favorite piece of furniture or if they give up on the process altogether, there is a good chance that their weight is impacting their mobility.

Feel for Your Cat's Ribs

  • If your cat is a healthy weight for their size, you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand across their chest. If you aren't able to feel your cat's ribs this way, your feline friend may be overweight. 

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 their waist should be (this can be a bit tricky with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it means that your feline friend is probably carrying excess weight.

Use Our Overweight Cat Chart

  • Take a look at the chart below to get a better sense of what weight looks like on your cat and to determine what category of weight they may fall under. 

Overweight Cat Chart, Ventura Vets

How To Help Your Cat Achieve a Healthy Weight

The breed, age, and lifestyle of your feline friend all make a significant difference to their nutritional needs.

If you suspect that your cat may be a little overweight, make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your cat's current weight and inform you both what your cat's optimal weight is and how to help your furry friend achieve a healthier weight for their size.

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

If your cat needs to lose a serious amount of weight in order to avoid health issues, it may be best to use a specialized food designed to help with feline weight loss. 

Unexplained Weight Gain

If your cat has suddenly begun to put 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.

At Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group (VMSG), our vets are able to provide your pet with comprehensive specialty and emergency care for your cat. Contact us or ask your vet about a referral if your cat is experiencing rapid or significant weight increases or decreases. Our Ventura vets are here to help.

Is My Cat Overweight, Ventura Animal Hospital

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