Many cat owners believe that their kitty's extra pounds make them even cuter and cuddlier although, they don't realize the negative effects those extra pounds could have on their cat's health. Because of this, our veterinarians in Stockton are sharing the reasons why your cat might be overweight, the problems extra pounds can cause, and the ways you can help.
Is Your Cat Overweight?
Your cat's weight is probably something you don't think about on regular basis, although your kitty's weight is a very critical part of their overall long-term health.
similar to people, when your cat carries extra weight they have an increased risk for developing serve often life-threatening conditions. Just a few extra pounds could negatively impact the well-being of your feline companion.
Diseases Linked to Cat Obesity
Overweight cats have a higher risk of obtaining a range of serious conditions such as:
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin problems
- Joint pain
- Urinary tract infections
How to Tell if My Cat is Overweight
In the following sections, we discuss a handful of methods you can use to help determine if your cat is overweight. If you suspect your cat is holding a few extra pounds or ounces, a visit to your vet can help you rule out serious underlying conditions and provide you with strategies for getting your furry friend back to a healthy weight.
Having a Hard Time Jumping
- The bodies of cats are perfectly built for jumping and running. If it takes your cat multiple attempts to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your kitty gives up altogether, there's a good chance that weight is the problem.
Look for Your Cat's Waistline
- When your cat is standing, look directly down at them from above. Look for a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this could be a little tough with long-haired cats). If you are unable to find their waist or if their sides are bulging it could mean your kitty is holding some excess weight.
Feel for Your Cat's Ribs
- If your cat is around a healthy 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, your cat could be overweight.
Use the Overweight Cat Chart
- Review the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your kitty might be carrying an extra pound or two.
Reasons Why Your Cat Could be Overweight
Below we have listed a few of the most common reasons why cats can become overweight:
- Your cat is given too many treats
- Their food is high in calories
- They aren't getting enough exercise
- Neutering/ spaying
- Older cats have different nutritional needs than younger cats and you are still feeding your cat the same food
A few reasons for cat weight gain that requires veterinary care includes:
- Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma)
- Cushing's Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism)
How You Can Help Your Cat Get to a Healthy Weight
The age, lifestyle and breed of your kitty could make a significant difference in their nutritional requirements.
If you have reason to believe that your cat is overweight contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment. Your vet is able to access your feline friend's current weight and inform you of your kitty's optimal weight. They can also tell you how you can help your furry friend achieve a healthier size.
Cats that are just a little overweight may be able to simply continue with their regular food but enjoy more strictly controlled portion sizes.
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.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your cat has suddenly begun to put on weight without cause, it's time to see your vet. Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue and should be investigated.
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.