You may not think very often about your cat's size. They're just cuddly, right? But carrying even just a few extra ounces can make a big difference when it comes to your feline friend's health and longevity. Here, our Wake Forest vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Your Cat's Weight Matters
Just like people, when your cat is carrying some extra weight their risk of developing a number of serious issues increases and their lifespan may even be shortened. Just a few extra ounces on your cat can have a significant effect on heir overall health and well-being.
Health Risks for Overweight Cats
If your kitty is carrying excess weight they face an increased risk of developing:
- Chronic inflammation
- Joint pain
In some cases, overweight cats show a reluctance to groom themselves properly which can lead to skin issues and even urinary tract infections.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Feel for Kitty's Ribs
If your cat is their correct weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by rubbing your hand along their chest quite gently. The amount of tissue over your cat's ribs should be quite similar to that on the back of your hand. If your can't feel your cat's ribs, there's a pretty good chance that they are overweight.
No Waistline To Be Seen
Look down at your cat from directly above and see if you are able to detect 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 detectable waist or bulging sides means that your feline friend may be carrying excess weight.
Difficulty Jumping Up On To Furniture
Our cats are made to jump. If your kitty takes multiple attempts to jump up to their favorite spot or gives up leaping altogether, their weight may be the issue.
How to Get Your Cat's Weight Back On-track
Factors such as age, breed and lifestyle make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of individual pets.
If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian will be able to access your cat's weight and let you know what your kitty's optimal weight should be.
If your vet advises that your cat lose weight, they will give you come suggestions about how to lose those extra ounces or pounds safely.
For cats that are just a little overweight, something as simple as sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters.
On the other hand, if your cat has to lose a significant amount of weight, switching them to a specialized food that is formulated to help with weight loss may be required.
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.