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Cat Obesity: Is My Cat Overweight?

 
By Ameera Mills. Updated: December 9, 2018
Cat Obesity: Is My Cat Overweight?

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Obesity is a common problem in cats, especially as they get older. Caregivers should know that this is not only an aesthetic problem, but can result in serious health problems. If you cat is overweight or obese, you should be able to identify this, in order to treat and tackle the problem accordingly.

If you want to know if your cat is overweight and how what measures to take, keep reading this AnimalWised article for more.

You may also be interested in: Obesity in Cats

Cat body condition score: Cat weight chart

Cats are characterized by their agile and elegant bodies. They are easily able to jump, climb and run: for which they must maintain an adequate body condition. Despite not being able to identify a specific correct weight for a cat, there are criteria which can help us determine whether our felines are either under or overweight. This criteria are often highlighted in posters found in veterinarian clinics or on the WSAVA Global Veterinary Community website.

A cat at its ideal weight is well proportioned, carrying palpable ribs that are not visible. In addition, the accumulation of abdominal fat is minimal. On the contrary, in an obese cat, it will be difficult to feel its ribs due to the thick layer of fat covering them. An obese cat will also present a rounded abdomen, due to this accumulation of fat. Its waist will be somewhat indistinguishable. In some cases you will also notice the presence fatty deposits in the animal’s lower back. Thus, the body condition of a cat is assessed by both observation and palpation.

Cat Obesity: Is My Cat Overweight? - Cat body condition score: Cat weight chart
Image: wsava.org

Overweight cat: How to help a cat lose weight?

Now that you know how to distinguish whether your cat is fat, we can discuss how to maintain an ideal cat body condition:

  • Make sure you take your cat for regular checkups at their veterinarian. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize whether our animals are overweight. A professional will be able to evaluate and recognize any possible threats to your cat’s health.
  • Exercise. Make sure your cat has access to going outside or take your cat for walks. To avoid your cat living or experiencing a sedentary lifestyle, make sure to implement environmental enrichment.
  • Feeding is the basic pillar to maintaining a cat’s ideal weight. A cat’s diet should be appropriate to the animal’s age. It is vital that you provide your feline with the correct amount of feed and do not over or under feed them.
  • Control the amount of treats or leftover food that you feed your cat.
  • If your cat is sterilized, reduce energy food consumption.
  • If there are any changes in your cat’s weight, be that a loss or gain, consult your veterinarian immediately.

There are many factors involved in a cat’s weight. In addition to those already mentioned, one would have to consider the breed, gender and age of the animal. The weight of a cat will also depend on its caregiver. As a cat’s caregiver, you must provide it with an appropriate environment, correct diet and stimulating exercise.

Cat Obesity: Is My Cat Overweight? - Overweight cat: How to help a cat lose weight?

Overweight cat symptoms

There are some common symptoms that appear with overweight cats. Overweight cat symptoms may include:

  • Weight gain.
  • Difficulty or inability to move.
  • Over-ideal cat body conditioning score.

Overweight cat problems

If you think that your cat may be overweight, specifically obese, we recommend acting as soon as possible. Obesity in cats promotes the appearance of several diseases. If your cat is already suffering from a pathology, weight gain can worsen the specific case. In addition, obese animals have limited tolerance to exercise and heat and suffer more complications when using anesthesia.

Obesity in cats: causes

In addition, if your cat is evidently overweight, knowing the reasons why is key in treating the condition of overweight cats. Cat obesity causes include:

  • Age.
  • Sex/gender.
  • Endocrine problems.
  • Breed of cat (some cat breeds are more prone to obesity than others).
  • Lack of exercise.
  • High-food consumption.
  • Irresponsible ownership.

Best cat food for overweight cats

In addition to increasing physical activity and enriching your cats environment: change your cat’s diet. We recommend consulting a veterinarian in order to set an appropriate diet for your specific cat (based on age, breed and weight).

Most importantly, you must focus on the reduction in your cat’s fat consumption. Increase fiber and water, opting for wetter foods rather than dry. We also recommend rationing your cat’s food throughout the day instead of offering it all at once.

Remember that if you want to make big changes to your cat’s diet, we suggest doing so with the help and supervision of your veterinarian.

For more about choosing the best diet for cats, we recommend looking at these following articles:

Cat Obesity: Is My Cat Overweight? - Best cat food for overweight cats

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Cat Obesity: Is My Cat Overweight?, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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