You may joke that your cat is 'cuddly' but carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's health. Today, our Winston-Salem vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Your Cat's Weight Is Important
Just like us, if your cat is carrying extra weight they face an increased risk of developing a number of serious and chronic diseases. Even just a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's overall health.
Increased Health Risks for Overweight Cats
Cats that are overweight face an increased risk of developing diseases that can have a significant effect on their quality of life and longevity including:
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
In some cases, obese cats may also begin to neglect grooming which can result in urinary tract infections and problematic skin issues.
How You Can Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Look down at your cat from directly above. You should be able to spot a slight indent just above the hips where your cat's waist should be. (Admittedly this can be difficult if you have a long-haired breed of cat). If there is no sign of your cat's waistline, or if your cat's sides bulge outwards your kitty is likely overweight.
Feel for Their Ribs
If your feline friend is at their correct weight you should be able to feel their ribs by gently running your hand along their chest. The amount of fat tissue over your cat's ribs should be similar to that on the backs of your hands. If your cat's ribs can't be easily felt, there's a good chance that your cat is overweight.
Our feline companions are designed to jump. If it takes several attempts for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your kitty gives up altogether, excess weight could be the problem.
Getting Your Cat's Weight Within Healthy Parameters
Your cat's age, breed and lifestyle will all make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of your pet.
If you think that your cat could be overweight it's time for kitty to see the vet. Your veterinarian will be able to access your cat's weight and let you know what the optimal weight is for your cat based on the factors listed above.
If your veterinarian recommends that your cat lose weight, they will provide you with suggestions on how to help your cat to safely shed those extra ounces.
Simply sticking to your kitty's regular food but reducing the size of each meal may be appropriate if your pet is just a little overweight.
However, if your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, switching to a specialized food which has been formulated to help with feline weight loss may be necessary.
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.