Cats can gain or lose weight with little notice, but these variations can have long-term effects on their health. So, the question is ‘how heavy should my cat be?’ Here are some things to keep in mind if you think your cat’s weight may be a problem.
Although your cat’s weight will change throughout its life, it is important to be able to recognize when this weight, either by excess or by default, becomes a health problem. If you are gaining or losing weight slowly, this can be difficult, but there are several things to keep in mind.
What are the most likely cats to gain weight?
The following are the cats most at risk of gaining weight
- European shorthair cats, more than purebreds
- Those who are 5 to 10 years old and have low activity levels
- Male cats
- Neutered cats, since sterilization can promote rapid weight gain
- Those who eat uncontrollably and more than recommended
- Indoor cats with little time for exercise and play
How to control your cat’s weight
There are many variables that affect a cat’s weight, such as size, breed, sex, and age. Therefore, weighing the cat and comparing its weight to an “ideal weight” will not always give accurate results. It is best to control the cat’s weight at home with a few simple steps.
When looking at your cat in profile from above, you should be able to easily see the bones, including the hollow in the side, and clearly distinguish between the thorax and abdomen (chest and stomach). If the outline is very pronounced, the weight of the cat may be low; If the outline is rounded and not easily defined, the cat may be overweight.
Feeling your cat can give you a good idea of whether or not its weight is healthy. Look carefully to see if you can palpate and count the ribs, palpate the vertebrae and muscles of the back, and if there is an accumulation of fat in the abdomen. Then you can use the following guidelines to see if you should be concerned about the cat’s weight:
- If you can feel the ribs, but they are not prominent, the cat’s weight is healthy
- If you can feel the ribs, but not count them, the cat is overweight
- If you cannot feel the ribs at all, the cat is obese
If you have any concerns regarding your cat’s health, it is important that you take him to the vet. He or she can perform the same exam in addition to other tests to determine your weight.
Know the Warning Signs Regarding Your Cat’s Weight
If you notice your cat losing or gaining weight quickly, it may indicate a larger underlying problem. If the loss or gain of weight is accompanied by digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, changes in the quality of the skin or hair, and changes in their mood, you should go without fail to your veterinarian for a full diagnosis.
If your cat is at its ideal weight, you give it quality food, play, exercise, and enjoy your company, it will lead a healthier and happier life. Recognizing when their weight could be a problem will allow you to quickly detect and resolve any problems, getting your cat back on the road to a long and healthy life.