Obese Cat Health Problems

An obese cat is susceptible to more health issues than a cat with a normal weight. It is important to be aware of the potential health problems of obese cats, so that you understand the value of a weight loss program for your feline.


Arthritis is a disease of joints. The occurrence of arthritis may be sped up by the extra weight pressing on joints on a daily basis.

Arthritis causes a lot of pain in cats and the pain may be reduced if the cat loses some weight.

Other symptoms of arthritis include limping, difficulty to move, stiff joints, irritability and lethargy.


Diabetes is a condition that is often met in overweight cats. The elevated glucose levels that are present in an overweight cat's blood may lead to insulin deficiency and diabetes.

Cats will diabetes will experience symptoms such as:

  • Increased thirst
  • More frequent urination
  • Lethargy
  • Inactivity
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

Diabetes is a manageable condition, but may be avoided by maintaining your cat's normal weight.

Heart Disease

An obese cat has a lot of extra blood to pump to and from the additional fatty tissues and this supplementary activity may be tiresome for the heart. In time, the cat may develop a heart disease.

An overweight cat may also experience heart strokes more often that cats with healthy weight.

Breathing Problems

Strenuous activities will cause breathing problems in overweight cats. Even routine activities can cause panting due to all the body fat in the lung and chest area.


Cats with an extra weight to carry will often suffer from joint and muscle injuries and this will lead to lameness in the limbs.

Skin Problems

Cats are known to groom themselves meticulously and this will result in a clean and shiny coat and a healthy skin. By licking his coat, the cat will spread the essential oils on the surface of the skin and hair.

If a cat is overweight, the extra fat can make it difficult for the cat to reach all the areas of his body. These areas may gather bacteria and these may cause irritations or skin infections.

Lower Life Expectancy

Obese cats live less due to the different medical conditions that are specific to overweight cats. On average, a normal weight cat lives 12 to 14 years; an obese cat may live between 6 to 12 years.

When Is a Cat Considered Obese?

A cat is considered obese if he has more than 20% of body fat.

You can examine your cat and determine if he is obese. Take a look at your cat from above: if you can see the lumbar vertebrae, your cat is not obese.

Looking from one side, you should notice the waist; if your cat has a round abdomen, he is obese. When palpating your cat, if you can feel the ribs, this means that he has a normal weight.

If you determine that your cat is overweight, you may opt for slimming through diet or exercise or a combination of the two.