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How can I tell if my cat is overweight?

How can I tell if my cat is overweight?

Helping your feline friend maintain a healthy weight can go a long way in protecting their overall health and increasing longevity. Wondering if your cat is overweight? Our San Jose vets share advice on how to tell if your cat is overweight and what to do.

How a Little Extra Weight Could Impact Your Cat's Long Term Health

Your cat's weight may not be something you worry about, but weight is an important element of your cat's overall health. As with 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 negative impact on your kitty's vitality and overall health.

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

Do you have an overweight cat?

In some cases it can be challenging to tell if a cat is overweight. In part this can be because we love our feline friends and just don't notice, but long fur can also make judging the size of your cat difficult. To determine whether your cat is overweight here are a few easy tips:

Is your cat 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.

Can you see 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.

Can you feel your cat's rib cage?

  • 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. 

Which of these illustrations does your kitty look most like?

  • Take a look at the illustrations below in our overweight cat chart. Which of the illustrations most resembles your cat's physique?

Overweight Cat Chart, San Jose Vet

Does my cat need to go on a diet?

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.

Why has my cat suddenly gained weight?

Has your cat 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. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

If your kitty is carrying extra weight, our experienced vets can check for underlying causes and provide you with guidance on how to help your cat achieve a weight that promotes good health and reduces their risk of disease. Contact our San Jose vets to book a wellness exam for your feline family member.

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

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(408) 271-7875 Contact Burbank Pet Hospital