You might believe your kitty is even more adorable with the extra weight on them, although those extra pounds can negatively affect the long-term health of your feline companion. In today's blog, our Pico Rivera vets discuss the reasons why your cat might be overweight, how to tell if your cat is overweight, and how you can help them be healthy again.

Is my cat overweight?

Your cat's weight has a significant impact on their lifespan and general health, even though you probably don't think about it when thinking about their medical care. Similar to people, cats who are overweight are more likely to develop a number of potentially fatal conditions. The extra weight, even a few pounds, can make a big difference in your pet's health.

Diseases Linked to Cat Obesity

When cats are overweight they face an increased risk of developing a variety of serious conditions including: 

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

How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight

There are a few indicators that your cat may be overweight that we have included below. A short visit to the veterinarian can help you rule out any serious underlying conditions and give you advice on how to help your cat lose weight if you think they are gaining a few extra ounces or even pounds.

Struggling to Jump

  • The anatomy of a cat is ideal for sprinting and leaping. There's a good chance that weight is the issue if your cat is having trouble jumping up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if they give up completely.

Check Your Cat's Waistline

  • When your feline is upright, gaze down at them directly. Look for a small depression where your cat's waist should be, slightly above their hips (long-haired cats may make this difficult to find). Your cat may be overweight if you are unable to locate their waist or if their sides protrude.

Feel for Your Cat's Ribs

  • You should be able to feel your cat's ribs by running your hand along its chest if it is about the right weight. Your cat might be overweight if you are unable to feel its ribs. 

Check Our Cat Weight Chart

  • To learn more about your cat's weight category and whether she may be carrying a few extra pounds, take a look at the overweight cat chart below.

Overweight cat chart, Memphis Vet

Reasons Why Your Cat Might be Overweight

Below are some of the most common reasons why cats can become overweight:

  • Their food is high in calories
  • Your cat is given too many treats
  • They aren't getting enough exercise
  • Neutering/ spaying
  • Older cats have different nutritional needs than younger cats and you are still feeding your cat the same food

Here are several reasons for cat weight gain that requires veterinary care:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma)
  • Cushing's Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism)

How To Help Your Cat Get to a Healthy Weight

The breed, age, and lifestyle of your cat can make a significant difference in their nutritional requirements.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian by calling if you think your cat is overweight. Your veterinarian will be able to determine your cat's ideal weight and provide you with that information. They might also provide you advice on how to assist your feline buddy in reaching a healthier weight. 

Cats that are just a little overweight might be able to continue with their regular food but enjoy more strictly controlled portion sizes. 

If your cat has to lose a significant amount of weight, it might be best to switch your kitty over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.

Unexplained Weight Gain

Consult your veterinarian if your cat has started gaining weight out of the blue. Investigation is necessary if there is an unexplained increase in weight that could indicate a medical condition.

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.

Contact our Pico Rivera vets if you suspect your cat is overweight and schedule an appointment with us today!