To you, your beloved feline friend may just seem a little chunky, but carrying extra weight can significantly impact your cat's health and longevity. Below, our Lincoln Park vets share a few ways to tell if your cat is overweight.
Excess Weight & Your Cat's Health
Much like us, carrying extra weight increases your cat's risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. As little as a few excess ounces can have a significant negative impact on your cat's overall health and vitality.
Health Risks Linked to Cat Obesity
If your feline friend is carrying excess weight they face an increased risk of developing the following conditions:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
To determine whether your cat is carrying excess weight try the simple steps below:
Review the Overweight Cat Chart
Look over the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying a few excess ounces.
Feel for Your Kitty's Ribs
If your kitty 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, there's a good chance that your cat is overweight.
Look for Your Feline Friend's Waistline
Look down at your cat from directly above and look for 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 clear waist or bulging sides means that your kitty may be carrying excess weight.
Monitor Your Cat's Ability to Jump
Felines are built to jump. 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.
Helping to Get Your Feline Friend's Weight Back On-track
Your cat's age, breed and lifestyle all make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of your pet.
If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your veterinarian. Your vet can access your cat's current weight and let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is.
If your vet recommends that your cat lose weight they will provide you with recommendations on how to help your cat shed those extra ounces safely.
For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters.
If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it may be best to switch your cat over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Gain in Cats
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.
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.