Is Your Cat Fat? Evaluating Your Cat's Weight

Keeping cat fat to a minimum is crucial to expanding your pet's life span. While cats do not theoretically weigh massive amounts, the weight that they do carry is directly proportional to their size and what their heart can tolerate. In order to have a cat in a healthy weight bracket, it's important to be aware of the risk factors for overweight cats, and the recommended weight limits for cats.

Physical Evaluation of a Cat's Weight

Doing a thorough physical examination can reveal a lot about structure and the overall health of a cat. A physical evaluation can help to keep cat owners in the loop about their cat's weight and determine if they're gradually gaining more than they should be.

When looking at a cat from the side angle, he should not have any loose skin or hair hanging underneath the belly, or flank. The flank of a cat should slightly tuck at the hindquarters and should appear trim and sufficiently well-rounded, but not fat or loose.

A lot can be determined about a cat's weight by rubbing the rib area. The ribs should not appear to be overly visible and should not appear to be hidden. You should be able to feel the ribs by gently rubbing them with your hands. A slight, thin layer of fur and fat should cover the ribs, but they shouldn't be so covered by fat that they can't be felt at all.

A cat should have a healthy general shape to his body. When looking at a cat from above, the shoulders should be more broad and noticeable than the waist. The hindquarters should be broader than the waist. If the waist is significantly larger or very well rounded in comparison with the shoulders and hindquarters, it can be fairly stated that the cat is overweight.

Normal Cat Weight

Most cats will weigh between 7 and 20 pounds when they're healthy. This weight range is only an average, and can be altered by a few different factors, like gender, breed and spay or neuter status. Male cats tend to weight between 10 and 20 percent more than female cats. Certain breeds tend to be more trim and sleek, such as Siamese, while other breeds can weigh in at around 20 to 25 pounds and be considered healthy in weight.

Cats that are spayed or neutered tend to be less active and more sedentary. The process of spaying and neutering tends to mellow a cat out and takes away some of the natural desire to be more active. When a cat has been spayed or neutered, it's important to watch the food and calorie intake, because inactivity can quickly add on the extra pounds.

Regaining Control of an Overweight Cat

You can attempt to make the cat more active by offering toys and games, but this isn't always the most effective method for treating an overweight cat. The best way to monitor his weight condition is to provide a healthy, substantial diet that will cut back on some of the calories and fat, while also maintaining a high level of nutrition.

It's always best to consult your veterinarian before attempting to put a cat on a diet. Because certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can contribute to weight gain, there may be other factors that should be considered or treated prior to implementing a new diet.