If you think your cat is extra cute and cuddly because they are a little overweight, you should know that those additional pounds can have a serious impact on their health and overall wellbeing. This is why our vets in White Settlement are here to discuss the ways you can tell if your cat is overweight, the factors that contribute to weight gain, and how you can get your kitty back to a healthy weight.
There is a good probability that you do not think about the weight of your cat very often but, today our vets are here to tell you that you probably should because your cat's weight plays a big part in their overall health and wellbeing.
As it is with humans, when your kitty holds a few extra pounds on their waistline they are at an increased risk of getting a range of conditions that are serious and potentially life-threatening. Just a few excess ounces can significantly impact the longevity of your cat.
Obesity-Related Diseases in Cats
Cats that are overweight have a higher risk of getting a handful of severe conditions including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
- Joint pain
How to Determine if Your Cat is Overweight
Below we have listed several suggestions on how you can tell if your cat is overweight. If you think your cat is carrying some extra ounces or even pounds, a quick trip to the vet can help you rule out serious underlying conditions and provide you with strategies for getting your kitty back to a healthy weight.
- A cat's body is beautifully built for running and jumping. If it takes your cat multiple attempts to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your kitty gives up altogether, there's a good chance that weight is the problem.
Inspect for 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 bit tricky with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it could mean your feline friend is carrying excess weight.
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If your kitty is around a healthy weight you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you are unable to feel your feline companion's ribs, your cat could be overweight.
Use the Overweight Cat Chart
- Review the 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.
Causes of Cat Weight Gain
Here are a few of the most common causes of weight gain in cats:
- Neutering/ spaying
- Their food is high in calories
- Your cat is given too many treats
- They aren't getting enough exercise
- Older cats have different nutritional requirements than young cats and you're still giving your kitty the same food
Below are some reasons for cat weight gain that needs veterinary care:
- Cushing's Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism)
- Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma)
Helping Your Cat Get in Shape
Some of the factors that contribute to your cat's nutritional needs include their lifestyle, age, and breed.
If you suspect that your cat is overweight contact your primary care veterinarian to schedule an appointment. Your vet can tell you your kitty's current weight and let you know what your companion's optimal weight is. They can also tell you how you can help your furry friend achieve a healthier size.
Cats that are just a little overweight may be able to simply continue with their regular food but enjoy more strictly controlled portion sizes.
If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it may 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 is starting to suddenly gain weight without any obvious reason, call your vet as soon as possible. Weight gain without explanation could be a sign of a health condition that needs to 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.