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What Is a Healthy Weight for My Cat?

What Is a Healthy Weight for My Cat?

It can be easy to over-feed our furry friends with treats and large meals but maintaining your cat’s weight can be really important as obese or overweight cats can be at risk of a number of health conditions including diabetes, pancreatitis, arthritis and even skin sores.

Discover the healthy weight for your cat with our informative guide.

How Much Should My Cat Weigh Ideally?

The ideal weight of a cat can vary depending on the breed; however, for the majority of domestic cats, 10 pounds or 4 to 4.5 kg is considered a healthy weight.

Larger domestic cat breeds are usually considered to be any cat that weighs over 11lbs or 5kg and some, like the Maine Coon, can weigh up to 25 pounds or 11kg. However, some smaller cat breeds such as the Siamese can weigh just 5 pounds or 2.2kg.

A cat’s weight can also depend on their sex as male cats are typically larger than female cats. It is possible for both a male and female cat of the same breed to both weigh the same amount but for the female cat to be considered overweight.

Cats also experience a change in weight as they age; this is natural as they often need to eat different amounts of food throughout the stages of their life.

Take a look at our table below for a guide to small, medium and large cat breeds.

Cat Breed Sizes

It is important to note that the average cat weight does not exist, as every cat is unique in terms of breed, sex and age. For a professional opinion on your cat’s ideal weight and health, please speak to your veterinarian.

Is My Cat Overweight?

As the healthy weight for cats can vary due to breed, sex and age observing your cat’s shape can often be an effective way to keep an eye on their weight.

There are several checks you can make to determine whether or not your cat is overweight. You may be able to tell by their appearance, for example, do they have a saggy belly or any noticeable difference in their shape?

You should also check that you are able to feel your cat’s ribs when you run your fingertips along their side. Other questions to ask yourself include, is their spine noticeable? and can you feel their shoulder bones?

If the answer to the above questions is yes, then your cat is likely to be a healthy weight. However if your cat’s ribs, shoulder bones and spine are too visible, they may be underweight.

Recognise the Warning Signs for Your Cat’s Weight

Sudden weight loss or gain can often indicate an underlying problem in your cat’s health. If your cat is also experiencing digestive problems and changes in their appetite or regular vomiting or diarrhoea, then you should consult your vet as soon as possible.

Owners should also look out for new skin sores on their cat, or a change in coat quality and even changes in their mood as they could all indicate a more serious health issue.

The Cats Most at Risk of Weight Gain

Cats that are commonly predisposed to weight gain include short-haired European type cats rather than pure breeds. Male cats are also more likely to be overweight, as well as indoor cats and cats between five and ten years old with reduced activity levels.

Accurate Results With Veterinary Scales

One of the most effective ways to gain an idea of your cat’s health is to regularly weigh them using a professional veterinary scale such as the Marsden V-22 which is ideal for accurately weighing smaller pets up to 20kg, with graduations to 5g.

Accurate weighing scales are essential to gain a precise analysis of a pet’s health. As mentioned, it can be possible to assess a cats weight and condition by its appearance. Still, accurate results with veterinary scales allow a vet to assess the situation better and implement changes in your cat’s diet.

Further Reading

If your concerned about your cat’s weight, take a look at these five ways to make sure your cat is a healthy weight

Results in our 2016 survey showed that 58% of dogs and cats seen by vets are overweight. To see the results of our 2019 The Great British Pet Survey in partnership with Burgess Pet Care, click here Survey: Lack of portion control could be contributing to pet obesity.

We took a look at the world's heaviest pets in this blog.