Your cat's extra pounds don't just make them cuddlier, it puts their overall health and wellbeing at risk. Here our vets in Argyle discuss some of the reasons why your cat might be overweight, how to tell if your cat is overweight and how you can help them get back down to a healthier size.
Is My Cat Overweight?
You probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about your cat's weight although, the weight of your kitty play's an essential role in their long-term health and overall wellbeing.
Just like people when your cat has a few extra pounds on their body they are at a higher risk for potentially life-threatening often serious conditions. Even a couple of extra ounces can have a negative impact on your furry friend's health.
Diseases Linked to Cat Obesity
Overweight cats are at an increased risk of getting various illnesses and conditions such as:
- Skin problems
- Urinary tract infections
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight
Here we have listed a handful of ways that can help you determine if your feline friend is overweight. If you are worried about the weight of your cat take them to your primary care veterinarian who will be able to help you rule out any serious underlying conditions and provide you with strategies for getting your kitty back to a healthy weight.
Struggling to Jump
- A cat's body is perfectly built for running and jumping. If it takes your kitty several attempts to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, there's a good chance that their weight is the problem.
Try to Find Your Cat's Waistline
- While your cat is standing, look down at them from directly above. Try to find a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a little tough with long-haired cats). If you can't find their waist or if their sides are bulging it could mean your furry companion is carrying excess weight.
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If your cat is around a healthy 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, your cat could be overweight.
Check Our Overweight Cat Chart
- Take a look at our overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your kitty might be carrying an extra pound or two.
Common Reasons Why Your Cat Might be Overweight
Below is a list of some of the most common reasons why cats can become overweight:
- Your cat is given too many treats
- Their food is high in calories
- They aren't getting enough exercise
- Neutering/ spaying
- Older cats have different nutritional needs than younger cats and you are still feeding your cat the same food
A few reasons for cat weight gain that requires veterinary care includes:
- Cushing's Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism)
- Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma)
How To Help Your Cat Get Back to a Healthy Weight
The age, breed, and lifestyle of your feline companion can make a significant difference in their nutritional requirements.
If you believe your cat is overweight contact your vet to schedule an appointment for them. Your veterinarian will be able to access your kitty's current weight and let you know what your cat's optimal weight is. They can also tell you how you can help your cat get back down to a healthier size.
Cats that are just a little overweight might be able to continue eating their regular food but enjoy more strictly controlled portion sizes.
If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it might be best to switch your kitty over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your cat has suddenly started putting 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.
Contact us at Argyle Veterinary Hospital today if you believe your cat is overweight or if you would like to schedule a routine wellness exam for your furry companion.