Skip to Main Content

How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight & What To Do

Cats should naturally stay slim and agile throughout their lifetime, but today's indoor lifestyles and inexpensive foods and treats lead many cat owners to overindulge their kitty's appetite. Naturally, overfeeding quickly leads to weight gain. Is your cat overweight? Our Delaware County vets explain how you can tell.

Weight & Health

Obesity can be a serious risk to your cat's health and can even their longevity.  Overweight cats face an increased risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. Just a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.

What are the health risks faced by overweight cats?

When our pets expand beyond their optimal natural weight their risk of serious disease increases. Some conditions that your overweight cat is at of developing include:

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

What are the signs that my cat might be overweight?

If you're not sure whether your cat is overweight, follow the tips below to determine whether your kitty may be carrying a few extra ounces.

Can't See Their Waistline

  • Look down at your cat from directly above and look for a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a bit more challenging with long-haired cats). No clear waist or bulging sides means that your kitty may be carrying excess weight.

Your Cat is Having Difficulties Jumping Up

  • Felines are built to jump. 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.

You Can No Longer Feel Kitty's Ribs

  • If your kitty 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, there's a good chance that your cat is overweight. 

Compare Your Kitty to Illustrations on Cat Weight Chart

  • Compare your cat's physique with the illustrations on the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra few ounces.

Overweight cat chart, Delaware County vet

How can I help my cat lose weight?

Your cat's age, breed, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to the nutritional needs of your pet.

If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. They can access your cat's current weight and let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is. 

If your vet recommends that your cat lose weight they will provide you with recommendations on how to help your cat shed those extra ounces safely. By analysing your kitty's lifestyle and overall health your vet will be able to calculate the right amount to feed your cat and how often.

For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters. 

If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it may be best to switch your kitty over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss. Your vet will be able to recommend a brand to meet your kitty's unique lifestyle and nutritional needs.

Why has my cat suddenly gained weight?

If your cat has suddenly started to gain weight without and you don't know why, it's time to see your vet. 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.

At Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital our team of experienced vets can provide you with the information and tools you need to help your cat achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Contact our Delaware County animal hospital today to book an exam for your kitty.

New Patients Welcome

Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Delaware County companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

(610) 328-3600