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Is Your Cat Overweight? Signs, Symptoms & What to Do

Is Your Cat Overweight? Signs, Symptoms & What to Do

While cats who are technically overweight may look cuddly, carrying just a few extra ounces can have a negative impact on your kitty's health and longevity. Our Farmington Hills vets explain how you can tell if your cat is overweight. 

Why Your Cat's Weight Matters

While you may not think about it consistently, your cat's weight is an important factor in their general health. Similar to people, if your kitty is carrying extra weight, they risk developing some serious and potentially life-threatening health issues. As little as a few too many ounces can significantly affect your cat's overall health, vitality and longevity. 

Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats

Is your four-legged friend carrying too much weight? If so, they have a higher risk of developing one or more of these serious conditions: 

  • Skin problems
  • Joint pain
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Diabetes

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight

Feel for Your Cat's Ribs

  • If your feline friend is at their correct weight you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, your cat may be overweight. 

Check for Your Cat's Waistline

  • While your cat is standing, look down at them from directly above. Try to spot 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 means that your kitty is probably carrying excess weight.

Struggling to Jump

  • A cat's body is perfectly designed for jumping. If it takes multiple tries for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, their weight could be the issue.

Use Our Overweight Cat Chart

  • Look over the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two.

Overweight cat chart, South Charlotte Vet vet

How to Get Your Feline Friend's Weight Back On Track

Your kitty's breed, age, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to their nutritional needs.

If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian will perform an exam and access your cat's current weight, then let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is and how to help your cat reach their weight loss goals. 

For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters. 

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 has suddenly begun to put on weight without cause, it's time to see your vet. Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue.

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.

Are you worried about your cat's weight? Contact our vets in Farmington Hills to schedule an examination for your kitty. 

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