While a few extra pounds might give your feline friend a cute and cuddly appearance, even a slight excess of weight can adversely affect your cat's long-term health. Today, our veterinarians in Benicia will highlight signs that may indicate your cat's overweight condition.
Is my cat overweight?
You probably don't think much about your cat's weight, but it is crucial to their overall health and lifespan.
When your feline friend carries extra weight, it raises their risk of developing severe and potentially life-threatening conditions. Just a few ounces of excess weight can significantly affect your cat's well-being.
Diseases Linked to Obesity in Cats
Cats that are overweight face an increased risk of developing several serious conditions, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Our Benicia veterinarians provide several tips for identifying if your cat is overweight. We strongly recommend scheduling regular wellness exams for your cat, allowing your vet to assess their weight and overall health in person. This proactive approach ensures you receive accurate information about your cat's well-being.
Check Out the Overweight Cat Chart:
The illustrations in the overweight cat chart above can help you better understand your cat's weight category and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two. Which illustration best represents the size of your cat?
Is your feline friend struggling to run or jump? Cats' bodies are naturally agile and should be able to handle low jumps easily. If you notice your cat taking a few attempts to jump onto low surfaces or getting tired after minor exertions, it could be due to excess weight.
Look for Your Cat's WaistWhile 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 is a bit harder with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or their sides bulging, it means that your feline friend is probably carrying excess weight.
Your Cat's Ribs Should Be Easy to FeelIf your cat is about the right weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. Your cat may be overweight if you can't feel your kitty's ribs.
How To Help Your Cat Achieve a Healthy Weight
The ideal weight for your cat depends on its breed, age, and overall size. If you suspect your cat is overweight, immediately schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Your vet will assess your cat's weight and guide you on achieving a healthier size.
For slightly overweight cats, consider reducing portion sizes and limiting extra treats. If your cat needs to shed a substantial amount of weight, your vet might suggest transitioning to a prescription diet specifically designed to support feline weight loss.
Gaining Weight for No Apparent Reason
If your cat has suddenly gained weight, it's time to consult your vet. Unexplained weight gain may signal an underlying health problem and requires investigation.
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.