You may not think much about your cat's cuddly size but carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's wellbeing and longevity. Today, our Mooresville vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight.
Your Cat's Weight Matters
Much like people, carrying extra weight increases your cat's risk of developing a number of serious conditions and may even shorten their lifespan. Just a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.
Health Risks for Overweight Cats
If your kitty is carrying excess weight then they face an increased risk of developing:
- Joint pain
- Chronic inflammation
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 at their correct weight you should be able to feel their ribs by gently running your hand along their chest. The amount of tissue over your cat's ribs should be similar to that on the backs of your hands. If you are unable to feel your cat's ribs, there's a good chance that your kitty is 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
Felines are made to jump. If it takes multiple attempts for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, their weight could be the problem.
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 recommends that your cat lose weight they will provide you with suggestions on how to help your cat shed those extra ounces 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 needs to lose a significant amount of weight, switching to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline 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.