Some cats, especially indoor or older ones with a slower metabolism, might gain too much weight. In this article, our Turlock vets discuss the signs of overweight cats and how to help them.
How can I tell if my cat is overweight?
Your vet can determine if your cat is too heavy for their age, breed, and the right body size. They'll give you a clear diagnosis and tips on how to help your cat lose weight.
However, there are a few ways to assess whether your cat is overweight before you visit the vet's office. Stroke along your cat's rib cage. In a healthy cat, you should feel about as much padding as that on the back of your hand. If you can't feel your kitty's ribs at all or need to press firmly to do so, puss may be obese or overweight.
You can also visually inspect your cat. Look at them from above while they're standing. Do you see a gentle dip near their hips that looks like a waist? If it sticks out instead, your cat might be overweight. Remember that it can be harder to see if your cat has long fur.
How can I help my cat lose weight?
If your vet finds that your cat is overweight, they will prescribe a special diet and exercise routine to help them lose pounds. There are a few things you can do to help your cat lose weight:
Diet & Feeding
Help your cat lose those extra pounds gradually by feeding them nutritious cat food with a weight control formula. Is your cat very obese? A special therapeutic weight loss food may be recommended. Always make the transition gradual when introducing new cat food.
While cats don't require much exercise to stay healthy, the right amount depends on your cat's breed and age. In general, aim for two 15-minute sessions of interactive play every day. This can include activities like chasing and leaping after a toy.
You might also consider getting an indoor cat tree to give your cat more chances to climb and jump for extra fun and exercise.
Check With Your Vet
Make sure to take your cat to the vet regularly. During these visits, the vet will check your cats' weight and let you know if any changes in their diet or additional tests are needed.