Is Your Cat Overweight? Signs, Symptoms & What to Do

Cats (especially indoor cats, or older ones with slower metabolism) may battle weight gain. In this post, we review signs that your cat may be overweight and how to address the issue. 

How can I tell if my cat is overweight?

Your vet can tell you if your cat is overweight for their age, breed and appropriate body size. You’ll receive a specific diagnosis and the vet will be able to provide advice on how to manage your cat’s weight.

However, there are a few ways to assess whether your cat is overweight before you visit the vet’s office. Stroke along your cat’s rib cage. In a healthy cat, you should feel about as much padding as that on the back of your hand. If you can’t feel your kitty’s ribs at all, or you need to press firmly to do so, then puss may be obese or overweight.

You can also look for visual cues for insight into your cat’s weight and condition. Look down at your cat while they’re standing. Do you see a slight indentation above the hips which resembles a waist (remembering this may be challenging to see if your cat has long hair)? If the waist area bulges out instead, you may be looking at an overweight cat.

How can I help my cat lose weight?

If your vet finds that your cat is overweight, they will prescribe a special diet and exercise routine to help them lose pounds. There are a few things you can do help your cat lose weight:

Diet & Feeding

Help your cat lose those extra pounds gradually by feeding them nutritious cat food with a weight control formula. Is your cat very obese? A special therapeutic weight loss food may be recommended. Always make the transition gradual when introducing new cat food.

Regular Exercise

Though cats don’t need a lot of exercise to stay healthy, the ideal amount will vary based on the cat’s breed and age. In general, aim for two 15-minute sessions of interactive play every day. This can include activities like chasing and leaping after a toy.

You may also think about investing in an indoor cat tree to provide extra opportunities for stimulation such as climbing and jumping.

Check With Your Vet

Bring your cat to see the vet on a regular basis. They will be weighed and the vet can tell you whether further dietary adjustments or testing are required.

Do you think your cat may be overweight? Our vets are experienced in treating a variety of conditions and illnesses in pets. Contact our office for an appointment.

Overweight cat, Flat Rock Vet

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