Are you asking yourself questions like “is my cat overweight?” or “is my cat healthy?” It may be because your furry friend is looking a little on the large side or perhaps their coat isn’t quite as shiny.
Results from our recent survey with Burgess Pet Care showed some revealing results about how we may not be keeping our eye on the ball when it comes to weight.
The survey showed that 32% of pet owners guess their pet’s food portion sizes and a whopping 62% have never asked their vet’s advice regarding theirs pet’s weight management.
Check out the full results of our survey here.
If this sounds like you, worry not! We’ve got five tips to work out how just how healthy your cat is and if it is teetering on the edge of feline obesity.
1. How much should my cat weigh?
Maintaining a healthy weight for your kitty is easier said than done, particularly for house cats who prefer a cosy couch to being out in the garden. They may not be burning off those extra treats you like to give them, or perhaps any tid bits they receive from the kids. For most domesticated cats the ideal weight is 4-4.5 kgs , but this can vary from breed to breed. A large Maine coon cat could weigh up to 11kgs but a Siamese cat can be as little as 2.5kgs.
We always recommend that you regularly weigh your pets for the most accurate idea of their health. The V-22 is a compact veterinary scale with accuracy to 5g.
2. The rib test
Another way to check if you cat is overweight is to check if you can feel their ribs. This process is called Body Condition Scoring. If there is a layer of fat over the ribs it is a good indication that your cat is overweight. Similarly too much rib is also not a good thing. You should be able to feel flesh between each rib. If your kitty is feeling too bony, it could be underweight or have an underlying condition.
If you are still unsure at how your kitty should look, Vets4Pets have a helpful guide on Body Condition Scoring here.
3. Knowing the risks
Just like humans cats can suffer health complications due to being over or underweight. Overweight cats can struggle to groom themselves and maintain their personal hygiene. Not to mention the risks of diabetes and urinary tract infections. On the other hand you are thinking “why is my cat so skinny?” but you believe their food intake is sufficient then the cause could be an underlying condition such as kidney disease, diabetes, IBS/IBD and you should consult your vet.
4. Switch their food
The wet versus dry food (or both!) debate is worth thinking about if your cat’s weight is a concern. Dry food is an easy option, especially for busy pet owners but can often be much harder to portion correctly. Your cat may love grazing all day, but is that the reason for his/her weight gain? Wet food is a fan favourite with cats and often comes in handy portion pouches. Yet wet food can be tricky for working owners who struggle to stick to a schedule.
5. Check their coat
Your cat’s fur is a big indicator of how healthy they are. Are they looking a little dull? Have they lost their shine? A healthy cat should have a bright shiny coat. A dull and lacking coat could be a sign of malnutrition.
If you are concerned about your cat’s health, it is always better to get a professional opinion from your vet.
You can find our range of veterinary scales here, many of which are ideal for weighing your cat. If you’re unsure about correctly tracking the weight of your cat, chat to our team by sending us a message here. We are always happy to help!