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

cat on scale

While a couple of extra pounds might make your feline friend look inviting to cuddle, carrying even a bit of extra weight can negatively affect your cat's long-term health. Here, our Lexington vets list some signs of an overweight cat.

Is My Cat Overweight?

You probably don't give your cat's weight too much thought. That said, your kitty's weight is an important indicator of their overall health and can factor into their longevity.

If your feline friend is carrying extra weight, this leaves them at increased risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. As little as a few ounces of extra weight can significantly impact your cat's health and well-being. 

Diseases Linked to Obesity in Cats

Cats that are overweight have a higher risk of developing a variety of serious conditions such as:

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

These conditions can easily cause veterinary emergencies and serious acute and ongoing health concerns for your cat.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight

Overweight Cat Chart

If you're unsure whether your cat may be overweight, our Lexington vets can offer a few tips on how to tell. It's always a good idea to book regular wellness exams with for your cat with your primary vet - this way, your vet can assess your cat's health status in person and let you know if they are at a healthy weight. 

Check Out the Overweight Cat Chart:

These illustrations in the overweight cat chart can help you gain a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two. Look closely to determine which illustration best represents the size of your cat. 

Difficulties Jumping

Is your feline friend struggling to run or jump? Cat's bodies are naturally agile and they should be able to handle low jumps with ease. If you notice your cat taking a few attempts to jump onto low surfaces or getting tired after minor exertions, it could be due to excess weight.

Look for Your Cat's Waist

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 is a bit harder with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it means that your feline friend is probably 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. If you can't feel your kitty's ribs, your cat may be overweight. 

How To Help Your Cat Achieve a Healthy Weight

Your cat's ideal weight will depend on the breed, age, and overall size of your cat. 

If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian can access your cat's current weight then let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is and how to help your furry friend achieve a healthier size. 

If your cat is just a little overweight, you may simply be able to cut down on their portion sizes or reduce the number of extra treats you are giving them. 

If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, your vet may recommend you switch your cat's food to a prescription diet that is specifically formulated to help with feline weight loss.

Gaining Weight for No Apparent Reason

If your cat has suddenly begun to put on weight and you're not sure why it's time to see your vet. Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue and should be investigated.

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 that your cat's weight may be causing acute or chronic health issues? Have your primary vet refer you for a diagnostics appointment or contact Bluegrass Veterinary Specialists + Animal Emergency right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency. 

Emergency Care

Bluegrass Veterinary Specialists + Animal Emergency is open 24/7 for emergencies and is accepting patients for advanced diagnostic appointments. Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Lexington companion animals. 

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Contact (859) 268-7604