You might not be too concerned that your cat is a little chunkier, but carrying around even just a few extra pounds can have a big impact on your cat's health. Today, our New Iberia vets explain how to tell if your cat has gained an unhealthy amount of weight.
Your Cat's Weight Affects Their Health
Just like with humans, cats can be at increased risk of developing serious and often life-threatening conditions if they are overweight. Even just a few extra pounds can be detrimental to your cat's long-term health and wellbeing.
Increased Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
If your feline friend is carrying excess weight they face an increased risk of developing the following conditions:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Skin problems
- Chronic inflammation
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
If your kitty is maintaining the right 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.
Can't See Your Cat'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.
Trouble Jumping Up On To Furniture
Cats are built to jump. If they are struggling or it takes multiple attempts to jump onto their favourite piece of furniture, or they can't make it up at all, their weight could be the reason.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
Check out our overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two.
How 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
If your cat puts on weight suddenly without any reason, they need to be checked out by 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.