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

While a few extra pounds may give your feline friend a cute and cuddly appearance, carrying even a slight excess of weight can negatively affect your cat in the long term. In this article, our veterinary experts from New York will discuss some signs that could indicate your cat is overweight.

Is my cat overweight?

Most likely, you don't think much about your cat's weight, but your kitty's weight plays a crucial role in their overall health and longevity. Carrying extra weight increases your feline friend's risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. Even a few ounces of excess weight can significantly affect your cat's well-being.

Diseases Linked to Obesity in Cats

Cats that are overweight face an increased risk of developing a number of serious conditions, including: 

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

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight

Our New York vets below provide several suggestions for identifying whether your cat is overweight. It's always advisable to schedule regular wellness exams for your cat. This allows your vet to personally examine your cat and inform you about their weight status for optimal health.

Check Out the Overweight Cat Chart:

Overweight Cat ChartThe illustrations in the overweight cat chart above can help you to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two. Which illustration best represents the size of your cat?

Difficulties Jumping

Is your feline friend having trouble running or jumping? Cats naturally possess agility in their bodies, enabling them to handle low jumps easily. If you observe your cat making multiple attempts to leap onto low surfaces or becoming fatigued after minor physical efforts, it may result from carrying excess weight.

Look for Your Cat's Waist

Stand directly above your cat while standing and observe for a slight indent just above your cat's hips, where their waist should be. This may be a bit more challenging with long-haired cats. If you cannot spot their waist or notice their sides bulging, it indicates that your feline friend is likely carrying excess weight.

Your Cat's Ribs Should Be Easy to Feel

If your cat is about the right weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. Your cat may be overweight if you can't feel your kitty's ribs. 

How To Help Your Cat Achieve a Healthy Weight

Your cat's breed, age, and overall size will determine its ideal weight. If you suspect your cat is overweight, schedule an appointment with your vet. Your veterinarian will assess your cat's current weight, determine the optimal weight for your kitty, and provide guidance on how to help your furry friend achieve a healthier size.

If your cat is slightly overweight, consider reducing their portions or cutting back on extra treats.

For cats requiring significant weight loss, your vet may suggest switching to a prescription diet explicitly formulated for feline weight loss.

Gaining Weight for No Apparent Reason

If your cat suddenly starts gaining weight and you're uncertain about the cause, it's time to consult your vet. Investigating unexplained weight gain can help identify underlying health issues as a possible symptom.

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 concerned about your cat's weight? Contact us to set up a wellness exam for your feline companion. 

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Rivergate Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of New York companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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