How heavy should my cat be? and would you be able to tell if your cat needed to lose weight? Fat cats are so common that you may not even realize yours is overweight.
How heavy should my cat be? is the question however, overweight and obese cats now outnumber healthy-weight cats, and vets see an increase in super-obese cats. “The issue for us is that we like to spoil our cats, and cats like to eat, so it’s so easy to overfeed a little bit,” explains Philip J. Shanker, DVM, owner of The Cat Hospital in Campbell, CA.
It’s essential to take it seriously. Even a few extra pounds can increase your pet’s risk of developing specific health issues, such as type 2 diabetes. It can even prevent them from properly grooming themselves. Losing excess weight should result in a healthier, happier cat.
Cats’ Ideal Weight:
Most domestic cats must weigh around 10 pounds, though this varies depending on breed and frame. A Siamese cat may weigh about 5 pounds, whereas a healthy Maine Coon can weigh up to 25 pounds.
If the cat is overweight, the veterinarian can tell you. Still, there are some signs you can look for on your own, according to Melissa Mustillo, DVM, a veterinarian at A Cat Clinic in Maryland.
“When you look down at a cat, it should have that hourglass figure, no saggy belly hanging down, and you must be able to feel their ribs,” she says.
How to tell if the cat is underweight?
To begin with, you do not need to try to hold your cat on a weighing scale to determine whether or not they are underweight.
Instead, try rubbing your hand along your cat’s sides to see how prominent the ribs are. If you can feel many ribs and are very pronounced, your cat may be skinny.
Another test is to run your hand along your cat’s spine and feel how pronounced the vertebrae are.
If you can see a short-haired cat’s ribs and backbone, it could be an indication of underweight. However, it is essential to note that some cat breeds are naturally skinnier or larger than others.
What to do if your cat is skinny or underweight?
In case you suspect that your cat is underweight, you can take these steps to test it.
First, keep track of your cat’s feeding times and see if they finish all of their food. A cat who loses its appetite or refuses to eat its food may be suffering from various medical problems that necessitate veterinary care.
Next, if your cat eats, as usual, double-check that you’re feeding them the proper amount of food. Most cat food packaging or websites will include a chart with recommended serving amounts based on your cat’s weight, but your veterinarian is the best source for determining the right food and serving sizes.
How to tell if the cat is overweight?
When our cats turn on the feline charm, it can be challenging to resist the urge to feed them or give them treats. Obesity in cats, on the other hand, is a serious problem that can lead to arthritis, diabetes, urinary tract disease, and other health issues. Like humans, the best way to prevent or reverse this condition is through diet and exercise.
Like that of humans, your cat’s weight can fluctuate, usually due to eating too much or too little, or over-or under-exercising.
How to Keep the Pounds Off?
According to veterinarians, cats’ weight gain is usually caused by the type and quantity of food they are fed, as well as plain boredom.
“When they’re bored, they’ll say to themselves, ‘I might as well go eat.’… Oh, there’s no food in my bowl; I’ll go bother mom for more food,'” Mustillo says.
When they whine, many owners give in to keep their pets happy.
However, it is possible to prevent or limit weight gain:
Replace dry food with canned food, which contains more protein and fewer carbohydrates. Canned food is also an excellent way to establish specific mealtimes for your pet. Many cats gain weight when their owners leave a bowl of dry kibble out for them to eat all day.
Reduce your intake of sweets. Cats respond just as well to other types of rewards, such as playtime with you.
Make your cat work for his or her food. Cats are healthier and calmer when their owners use “food puzzles,” which the cat must roll or manipulate to get treats out of, according to veterinarians.
You can hide some in the compartments of a wine box or fill a plastic bottle with kibbles after cutting one or more small holes in it. The puzzles slow their eating while appealing to their natural hunting and foraging instincts.
If you have more than just one cat, you may need to feed the overweight one in a separate room or keep the healthy-weight cat up high where the fat cat cannot reach it.
How will my cat act on a diet?
Cats are known for their aloof persona, so you could be forgiven for thinking that limiting their calories would upset them. Cats, on the other hand, may exhibit more affectionate behavior when fed a calorie-restricted diet. They will feel better when they are healthier, and they will often become happier and more loving as a result.
How to choose the right food for your cat?
It is critical to consider your cat’s health and best interests. Your veterinarian may advise you to feed your cat a special diet to help with healthy weight loss. There are superior calorie-controlled diets available to assist your cat in maintaining a healthy weight.
These diets are high in protein and fiber, which will keep your cat feeling full and satisfied while lowering their calorie intake. A specially designed food may also help to reduce begging behavior, which can be challenging to resist.
Consult your local Greencross Vets team; they can advise on how to keep your cat at a healthy weight and a diet that is best suited to your feline friend.