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

Although you may think of your feline friend as big and cuddly, carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to your cat's overall health and longevity. Our Franklin vets explain how you can tell if you have an overweight cat.

Why Your Cat's Weight Matters

Your cat's weight may not be something you worry about, but weight is an important element of your cat's overall health.

Just like people, when your cat is carrying extra weight, their risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening conditions increases dramatically. Even a few extra ounces can have a significant impact on your cat's vitality and overall health.

Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats

If your feline friend is overweight, they are more likely to get one or more of the serious conditions listed below.

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

How To Tell If my Cat Is Overweight

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.

Check for Your Cat's Waistline

  • During your cat's 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 tricky with long-haired cats) If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging, try to find a slight indent just above their hips.

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. 

Use Our Overweight Cat Chart

  • Check out the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category and whether your cat is carrying an extra pound or two.

Overweight cat chart, Franklin Vet

How to Get Your Kitty's Weight Back On-track

Your cat's breed, age, and lifestyle all have a significant impact on their nutrition needs.

If you suspect that your cat may be overweight, please schedule an appointment to see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will assess your cat's current weight and let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is. They will then help your cat reach their weight loss goals. 

For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food and reducing the size of each meal could help bring their weight back within healthy parameters. 

If your cat needs to lose weight, it may be best to switch your cat to a special diet formulated to help with weight loss.

Unexplained Weight Gain

Has your cat has suddenly started to gain weight without cause? Then it's time to see your vet for an exam! 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.

Do you think that your cat may be overweight? Book an appointment today. Our experienced Franklin vets can help you get your cat's weight back to a healthier level.

New Patients Always Welcome

Pet Vet is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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