Check your cat’s weight now
Between check-ups, you can perform a simple test to see if your cat is maintaining a healthy weight. Place your hands on your cat’s side — are their ribs hard to feel or even impossible to feel? If so, they are likely overweight.
Signs your pet is emaciated:
The ribs, spine and hip bones are visible from a distance, and there is no discernible body fat.
Signs your pet is healthy weight:
The ribs can be easily felt without excess fat, and you can see the waist behind the ribs from above. Abdominal tuck is present.
Signs your pet is overweight:
You can’t feel ribs because they are covered in fat. Large fat deposits are over the neck, chest, spine and base of tail. Both waist and abdominal tuck are absent.
Why being overweight matters
Excess weight gain can significantly shorten your cat’s life expectancy as compared to a healthy weight pet.
Overweight cats can also have an increased risk of developing serious health conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, urinary stones, heart disease, breathing difficulty and even bladder cancer.
Female cats are more likely to become overweight.
Lack of exercise
Too much food and too little exercise can also produce a similar result.
Choosing the right cat food for weight management
Your cat’s diet is perhaps the single most important factor in helping them maintain an ideal weight. Ask your vet for a food recommendation for weight loss, including what food and how much, and do your best to stick to it.
This is key because once your cat has been overweight, they may be prone to weight gain. Your cat should have an ongoing weight management plan based on good nutrition, exercise, regular check-ups and weigh-ins.
Resources and tips
For more information on your cat’s condition — and to help provide them with the best care possible on the journey ahead — check out these helpful resources from our team of veterinarians.