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

Adding on a few extra pounds, or even ounces, can have a big impact on your cat's overall health and longevity. Today, our Citrus County vets share how you can tell if your cat is overweight, and how to get their weight under control.

Your Cat's Weight

Your cat's weight is an important part of their overall health, even if you don't think about it. When your cat is overweight, just like people, its risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening conditions rises dramatically. Even a few extra ounces can have a significant impact on your cat's overall health and vitality.

Health Risks for Overweight Cats

If your feline friend is carrying excess weight, they face an increased risk of developing these serious conditions: 

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

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight

To determine whether your kitty is overweight, you can have your vet examine them, or try the tips below from home.

Look for Your Cat's Waistline

  • Look down at your cat from directly above while he or she is standing. Look for a small indent 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 their sides are bulging, your cat is probably overweight.

Feel for Your Cat's Ribs

  • When your cat is at a healthy weight you should be able to slightly feel their ribs by gently running your hand along their chest. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, your cat may be overweight. 

Struggling to Jump

  • Cats are born with the ability to run and jump quickly. If your cat takes several tries to jump onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if they give up entirely, their weight could be the issue.

Use Our Overweight Cat Chart

  • Look over the illustration 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, Thomasville Vet

Managing Your Cat's Weight

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

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect your cat is overweight. Your veterinarian will determine your cat's current weight, as well as what their ideal weight is and how to assist them in achieving their weight loss goals.

If your cat is just a little overweight, you may be able to continue feeding them their regular food but at reduced portion sizes. 

If, on the other hand, 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 cats lose weight.

Unexplained Weight Gain

If your cat has suddenly begun to gain weight for no reason, 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. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.

Is your cat showing signs of a medical emergency? Contact our Citrus County vets as soon as possible.

New patients are always welcome.

We look forward to meeting your precious pet at Dunnellon Animal Hospital.

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