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Do you have an overweight cat? Here's How to Tell

Obesity is on the rise in our feline friends and carrying just a few extra ounces can make a big difference to a cat's overall health and longevity. Our Memphis vets explain how you can tell if you have an overweight cat.

Your Cat's Weight Matters

Your cat's weight is likely not something you worry about, but weight is an important element of your cat's overall health.

Much like people, when your cat is carrying extra weight their risk of developing some serious and potentially life-threatening conditions increases dramatically. As little as a few excess ounces can have a significant effect on your cat's vitality and overall health.

Increased Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats

If your feline friend is carrying extra weight they face an increased risk of developing one or more of the serious conditions listed below: 

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Skin problems

Is my cat overweight?

If you're wondering whether your cat might be overweight it's important to book an appointment with your vet. Sudden or unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as those listed above. If you're not sure whether a trip to the vet is really called for, below are a few ways to get a better idea of whether your cat is overweight.

Struggling to Jump

  • A cat's body is perfectly designed for jumping. If it takes multiple tries for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, their weight could be the issue.

Check for Your Cat's Waistline

  • While your cat is standing, look down at them from directly above. Try to spot a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be a bit tricky with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging it means that your kitty is probably carrying excess weight.

Feel for Your Cat's Ribs

  • If your feline friend is at their correct 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 may be overweight. 

Use Our Overweight Cat Chart

  • Look over the overweight cat chart below to get a better understanding of your cat's weight category, and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two.

Overweight cat chart, Memphis Vet

How to Get Your Feline Friend's Weight Back On-track

Your kitty's breed, age, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to their nutritional needs.

If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian will assess your cat's current weight then let you know what your kitty's optimal weight is and how to help your cat reach their weight loss goals. 

For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal could get your pet's weight back within healthy parameters. 

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

Has your cat has suddenly started to gain weight without cause? Then it's time to see your vet! When it comes to your cat's long term health it's always best to err on the side of caution. 

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.

Is your cat at risk of weight related illnesses? If your cat may be overweight contact our Southeast Memphis vets today to book an examination for your kitty. 

How to tell if your cat is overweight, Southeast Memphis

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