How to know if my cat is fat?


Many cats usually gain weight over the years. And even though the image of a fat cat It may seem tender, being overweight is a health risk for cats. But how do you know if your cat is really fat and needs to lose weight? It is not as simple as weighing it on a scale. The weight of a cat can vary between 3.6 kilos and 11 kilos. The ideal weight will depend on the breed, size and age of the cat. There is no standardized table. However, there are some ways to check if your cat's health is irrigated by being overweight. Next, we will see some recommendations.

What is an overweight cat?

People say that A cat is overweight when its body mass is greater than its share by 10 to 15%. An obese cat is one that cannot perform its normal activities because of its overweight, which compromises some of its vital functions. This occurs when the body mass is exceeded by 15 to 20%.

The ideal weight of a cat

While there is no standardized table that determines the ideal weight of cats, there are certain parameters that can help us. Some references of average weight have been established based on the sex, breed and size of the cat.

So, a common European cat usually weighs between 3 and 5 kilos (between 3 and 4 females and between 4 and 5 males). A Siamese cat between 2 and 4.5 kilos, a Persian cat between 3 and 5.5 kilos, and a Maine Coon cat between 4.5 and 11 kilos.

How to know if your spending is overweight

In addition to these reference figures, there are some simple ways to know if your cat is overweight. The first is to observe it from above: in doing so you should notice a waist between the ribcage and the hips. If it is a very hairy cat, you can feel the sinking with your hands.

Similarly, looking at it sideways should not have a bag hanging from the stomach. If you have it is because it is with a few extra pounds. Finally, when touching the cat's back without pressing too much, the spine and ribs should be clearly felt.

Now that you know how to detect if your cat is overweight you can take the necessary measures to combat it. That way you will be helping him improve his health and prolong his life.

Cat body condition

Cats are characterized by their agile and elegant forms. Able to jump, climb and run, they function as perfect machines, for which they must maintain a adequate body condition. Thus, although it is not possible to give an ideal weight of the cat according to its age, there are some criteria that allow to determine if the cat is at its optimal weight, thinner, much thinner or, on the contrary, is overweight or obese in greater or lesser degree These criteria are expressed in a series of drawings that can be found in the veterinary centers or on the WSAVA Global Veterinary Community website.

A cat at its ideal weight is well proportioned, the waist is appreciated and the ribs are palpable, which are not visible. In addition, abdominal fat accumulation is minimal. On the contrary, in the obese cat it will be difficult to touch the ribs because a layer of fat will prevent it, it will present a rounded abdomen, also for the accumulation of fat. Nor will the waist be distinguished. In some cases there will also be fatty deposits in the lower back. Thus, a cat's body condition is assessed by observation and palpation.

How to make a cat lose weight?

We have already seen how to know if a cat is fat, we will now comment on what elements will help us keep it in its ideal body condition:

  • First of all it is important that we go to veterinary reviews. It is usual that, as caregivers, we find it difficult to realize that our feline is above its ideal weight. In these cases the veterinarian will be able to evaluate it following the guidelines we have commented.
  • The exercise It is also basic. A cat with access to the outside tends to have opportunities to keep fit, however, a cat that lives on a floor may not display all the necessary activity. To avoid sedentary lifestyle we must implement environmental enrichment measures.
  • Of course, feeding It is a basic pillar to maintain the ideal weight of a cat. This should be adapted to the age of the animal and its vital circumstances and should always be provided in the appropriate amount.
  • Likewise, it must control abuse of prizes or leftovers of human food.
  • In sterilized cats we must reduce energy consumption.
  • Finally, any sudden change in the body condition of our cat, both weight loss and weight gain, is a reason for veterinary consultation.

As we see, many factors are involved in weight. In addition to those mentioned, there would be race, sex or age and those who depend on caregivers such as the choice of diet and how to offer it, the type of environment it provides and even their perception of the physical condition of the animal. It is these last factors on which we can act.

Consequences of obesity>

If from the guidelines we have given for how to know if a cat is fat we conclude that it is overweight we should take it very seriously to recover its optimal body condition, since obesity is a risk factor for different diseases and, in addition, it can worsen the clinical signs of others. On the other hand, obese animals have a limited tolerance to exercise and heat and more complications when using anesthesia.

Best food for obese cats: guidelines and recommendations

In addition to increasing physical activity and enriching the environment when we know that our cat is fat, we can try to lose weight through food, so we must have the help of our veterinarian so that, based on the current consumption of our cat, calculate the amount we will offer daily for you to lose weight.

It is important decrease fat intake, but not protein, while fiber and water increase, so wet food can help in these cases. It is also a better option. ration the food several times before offering it freely available throughout the day. A diet to reduce weight can also include prizes, but always being aware of the calories they provide, which in no case can exceed 10 percent of daily energy. Our veterinarian must monitor the progression of weight to reevaluate the diet.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to know if my cat is fat?, we recommend that you enter our Prevention section.

What is an overweight cat?

A cat is overweight when it is above its ideal weight. That is, a pussycat that has being overweight means that your body mass is greater than your share.

In numbers, that means that if your body mass exceeds more than 10-15% your ideal weight, is an overweight cat.

And it talks about obese cat when this overweight prevents normal activity or compromises any of its vital functions, that in numbers is estimated to happen when body mass exceeds between 15-20% the ideal cat weight.

What is the ideal weight of a cat

While it is difficult to determine an ideal weight for all cats, there are factors that influence weight such as sex, race, size, etc.

Taking these factors into account, tables have been drawn up in which to establish a approximate average weight according to the type of cat.

For example, considering race or type of race, some indicative figures They are:

  • Common European cat: between 3 - 5 kg.
  • Siamese cat 2- 4,5 kgs.
  • Persian cat: 3 -5.5 kg.
  • Maine Coon cat: 4.5-11 kg.

The lower number of these numbers is usually the range of the female, and the upper of the male cat. For example in European cats females usually weigh between 3-4 kgs and males between 4-5 kgs.

What is an obese cat?

As we said, obesity is from 15-20% of body mass greater than the ideal weight. Following the previous guidance figures, a common male cat over 6 kgs would be obese, as long as it is not a large cat.

Obesity can lead to many other health problems, so we must watch that our cats do not suffer.

A obese cat usually has locomotor and cardiovascular problems, and it can even happen that the accumulated fat presses your diaphragm, thus compromising your respiratory capacity.

An overweight cat and an obese cat should increase their physical activity, but just the condition they have makes the opposite happen. It is a fish that bites its tail, because the more fat it has accumulated, the less it can move.

Steps to check if your cat is overweight

Since the issue of weight is so indicative, there are other ways to check if the cat is overweight or not.

  1. Observe the shape and body of the cat. Depending on the degree of overweight it is possible that with a simple observation can be detected. A cat seen from above is usually shaped like an hourglass, but when it has more body mass than it deserves, it loses that shape, because it accumulates fat in the trunk, belly and chest.
  2. Palpate the ribs. The pussy's ribs are easy to notice on palpation, in case it costs to find them it is very possible that the cat has more weight than it should.
  3. Palpate the spine, shoulders, clavicle and sternum. As in the previous point, these bones are covered by a thin layer of fat. If this layer is so thick that it does not feel good, it is a sign of being overweight.

This table prepared by Hill’s and the University of Tennessee shows more detailed indicators of each part of the body of the pussycat, depending on the risk of being underweight or overweight:

You can download the table in this link.

If seeing the above, you suspect that your cat is overweight, take it to the veterinarian to determine the grade and indicate what guidelines to follow.

Why can a cat get fat?

Overweight can be caused by many factors, and obesity is a fairly complex disease. It is usually simplified by saying that the pussy is eating more calories than it should, but there are actually more reasons.

Some cats are more predisposed to be overweight or obese, either because of the cat's conditions (race, sex, etc.) as for other very different reasons.

The main ones are:

  • The feeding. As always we say, the correct feeding of the cat is key in all the aspects of its life and, obviously, in the weight also. If the cat is being overweight, it is eating too much, but above all, is eating badly. An unbalanced diet between feed and cans, a poor choice of feed, etc. These are some of the reasons that can contribute to this.
  • The age. The small cats they need more calories than a adult cat (and so their diet is usually special and is too caloric for cats that are not puppies), physical activity is different at each stage, etc. These combinations make the appearance of overweight occur more frequently in cats between 2 and 12 years old, and especially from 5 to 11 years. The elderly cats They do not usually have excess weight because they tend to lose their appetite. Find out about your cat's age in this article.
  • The physical activity. A cat that is more passive will not consume so much energy, just as the level of activity also varies with the cat's age. If the physical activity of the pussy does not correspond to caloric intake, overweight begins to appear, and that may lead to entering the vicious cycle of “fat cat that does not move, becomes increasingly fat”.
  • The temperature. In addition to other environmental factors, temperature influences calorie consumption. Cats that live in colder places need more calories than those that live in hot places. And this situation may also vary depending on the season of the year.
  • He home and the ambient. Cats that are in enclosed spaces tend to have less physical activity and, therefore, to be more likely to be overweight. Domestic cats that have access to the outside are more active. In addition, the home environment also influences. For example, if the cat suffers from stress due to a bad environment, he usually has more eating problems. If the cat is very shy and is in a house where there are frequently visitors, strangers, etc. You may spend a lot of time hiding and that has an impact on your diet and physical activity.
  • The spay or neuter. Many times it is said that sterilized cats get fat, as if taking weight corresponded directly to it. But the truth is that it is not a direct consequence. Cats that retain their reproductive capacity have a higher metabolic level and, therefore, they need more energy. That is, if a cat eats the same before and after being sterilized, but if the body does not need so much, that will result in getting fat. In addition, there are also studies that defend that sterilized cats tend to eat more than before the operation, so the problem is already served. But The solution should never be to stop sterilizing or neutering animals, but monitor the feeding of the pussy after the operation.
  • Any medication and some pathologies. Some diseases make the cat more likely to be overweight or obese, such as diabetes. And there are also certain medications that make the pussy fattening.

As humans that live with cats, we have the obligation to provide our mininos with what is necessary to take care of each of the above factors that we can influence. For example, we must offer a quality diet, play with them to encourage physical activity ...

What to do if your cat is overweight

If after reading the above, you suspect that your pussy has problems with being overweight, you should take it to vet So check if this is the case, and make the necessary changes to fix the problem.

Surely one of the first will be the change of feeding of the pussycat, although it is important that the loss of excess weight is not very fast. Cats that lose weight very quickly may suffer from fatty liver or other pathologies, so it is good that you gradually lose weight and with veterinarian supervision.