Obesity in cats is a growing concern that can have significant impacts on their health. Even a few extra ounces can make a difference, affecting their vitality and overall well-being. In this article, we will explore the signs of obesity in cats, its causes, and what you can do to help your furry friend.
Weight & Health
Similar to humans, carrying excess weight puts cats at risk for serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. Even a few extra ounces can take a toll on their overall health and vitality.
Increased Health Risks Faced by Overweight Cats
Being overweight increases a cat’s likelihood of developing various health conditions, including:
- Joint problems
- Heart disease
- Respiratory issues
- Skin conditions
- Reduced lifespan
Why Cats Become Overweight
Cats are naturally built for running, jumping, and hunting. However, some cats are more prone to weight gain than others. Factors that contribute to weight gain in cats include:
- Neutered male cats
- Senior cats
- Indoor cats with limited exercise opportunities
If your cat falls into any of these categories, it is essential to discuss their caloric and nutritional needs with your veterinarian to maintain a healthy weight.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Recognizing the warning signs of obesity in cats is crucial for early intervention. Here are a few indicators to look out for:
Trouble Jumping Up On To Furniture
If your cat struggles to jump onto their favorite piece of furniture or gives up altogether, their weight could be the underlying issue.
Feel for Your Cat’s Ribs
By running your hand along your cat’s chest, you should be able to feel their ribs if they are at a healthy weight. If you can’t feel their ribs, it’s likely that your cat is overweight.
Can’t See Your Cat’s Waistline
When looking down at your cat from above, check for a slight indentation just above their hips, indicating their waistline. If there is no defined waist or bulging sides, it is possible that your cat is carrying excess weight.
Use Our Overweight Cat Chart
Refer to the overweight cat chart above to help determine your cat’s weight category and whether they may be carrying extra pounds.
Getting Kitty’s Weight Back On-Track
Age, breed, and lifestyle all play a role in determining the nutritional needs of your cat. If you suspect that your cat is overweight, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They can assess your cat’s current weight and provide recommendations on achieving an optimal weight.
For cats with a slight weight issue, reducing the portion sizes of their regular meals can help them get back within healthy parameters. However, if your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, transitioning them to a specialized food formulated for feline weight loss may be the best course of action.
What To Do About Unexplained Weight Gain
If your cat is inexplicably gaining weight, it is crucial to consult your veterinarian. Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue that requires medical attention.
Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes and does not substitute professional veterinary advice. For an accurate diagnosis of your cat’s condition, make an appointment with your vet.
Remember, your cat’s health is a priority. By addressing their weight and taking appropriate action, you can help them lead a happier, healthier life.
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