Overweight Cat Health Problems

An overweight cat is more prone to certain health problems than cats with a normal weight. Learning about the potential health problems of overweight cats can make you understand why weight loss is essential in preventing these health problems. Some of the health problems that affect overweight cats include diabetes, arthritis, heart disease or skin infections.


Diabetes is a condition that is caused by an increased glucose in the blood and is often met in overweight cats.

Common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and more frequent urination, weight loss and lethargy. Diabetes may cause blindness in felines if not detected early.

Heart Disease

The heart of an obese cat is more active, as it has to pump blood to the additional fat tissues as well. At some point, the heart may be exhausted and heart disease can occur.

Heart strokes are also more frequent in obese cats than in normal weight felines.


Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and occurs in senior cats; however, if your pet is obese, the onset of this condition can be earlier. Arthritis is a painful condition and if the cat is overweight the additional weight presses against the joints causing more pain.

If your pet is affected by arthritis, you may notice symptoms such as limping and reluctance to move, excessive meowing and the cat may be retracting his limbs when touched.

Skin Infections

An overweight cat may fail to groom all areas of his body, as he may not reach all the areas due to the extra fat. Grooming is essential for felines, as the essential oils are spread and if the grooming lacks, the cat may develop different skin infections and have either dry or oily skin.

Breathing Difficulties When Exercising

Overweight cats may have breathing difficulties when exercising due to the fact that there are fat deposits in the lung area, which make the breathing more difficult.

Reduced Life Expectancy

In addition to all the health problems that overweight cats are more exposed to, you must know that obese cats live less than normal weight cats. The lifespan of a cat with normal weight is between 12 to 14 years, while an obese cat may only live from 6 to 12 years.

Is My Cat Overweight?

A lot of cat owners don’t know when a cat is considered obese. To establish if your pet is obese, you can check his weight. You may find a few charts with normal body weights for cats of different breeds and ages. A cat is considered overweight if he weighs 20% more than his ideal weight.

However, this formula may be difficult, so you should simply examine your cat and see if you can see his lumbar vertebrae. If these are visible, your cat has a normal weight. Also, if you can feel your cat’s ribs when palpating the stomach area, your cat has a normal weight.

If your cat is overweight, you should consult a vet to find a way to eliminate the extra weight.