You may think of your feline friend as cuddly rather than overweight but carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's wellbeing and longevity. Today, our Greensboro vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Why Your Cat's Weight Matters
Carrying extra weight increases your cat's risk of developing a number of serious conditions and may even shorten your kitty's lifespan. As little as a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.
Health Risks for Overweight Cats
Carrying excess weight means that your kitty faces an increased risk of developing conditions such as:
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
Not only that but in some cases, cats that are overweight 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 Your Cat's Ribs
If your feline friend is at about the right weight you should be able to feel their ribs by gently running your hand along their chest. The amount of tissue over your kitty's ribs should be similar to that on the backs of your hands. If you can't feel your cat's ribs there's a good chance that your cat is overweight.
No Visible Waistline
Stand above your cat and look down, you should be able to see 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 visible waist or sides that bulge means that your feline friend may be carrying excess weight.
Trouble Jumping Up On To Furniture
Cats are perfectly built for jumping. If it takes multiple attempts for your kitty to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, this could be an indication that their weight is a problem.
Getting Your Cat's Weight Back On-track
Factors such as age, breed and lifestyle make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of individual animals.
It's important to take your kitty in to see the vet if you think that your cat may be overweight. Your veterinarian will be able to access your cat's weight and let you know what your pet's optimal weight should be.
If the vet recommends that your cat lose weight they will provide you with instructions on how to help your kitty safely shed those extra ounces.
If your cat's just a little overweight, something as simple as sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal you could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters.
That said, if your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, switching to a food that is specially formulated to help with feline weight loss may be your cat's best bet for losing weight.
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.