Is My Cat Fat?

Finding a healthy weight for cats can be difficult because it depends on so many different things. If you think your pet is looking a little pudgy, it might be time to consider an getting an evaluation from your veterinarian.

Obesity in Cats Is Dangerous

An overweight cat can end up with as many or more health problems as an overweight human. In fact, cat health problems are on the rise at a similar level to the number of fat cats that vets see. At present, the estimate is that about 40 percent of cats are overweight.

Health risks due to obesity in cats include the following:

Arthritis

Diabetes

Heart Disease

Hepatic Lipidosis

Respiratory problems

Furthermore, cats that are overweight are at greater risk for complications from anesthesia and surgery.

Finding a Healthy Weight for Cats

Often you can look at your cat and have a pretty good idea whether or not she is at a healthy weight. The most accurate way to find a healthy weight for your cat is to take her to the vet to be evaluated. Different breeds of cats will have different healthy weights. For example, a Maine Coon Cat will have a much different weight than will a Siamese. Here are some ways you can get a rough idea of how much your cat should weigh:

Check out the breed standard. Usually the standard for each breed will include an ideal weight range for both males and females. If your cat weighs significantly more, it is probably overweight.

Check for body condition. Frame size and healthy weight go hand-in-hand

How to Check Body Condition on a Cat

With a little practice you can do a visual check of your cat's condition. A cat that is at a healthy weight will be obvious.

Have someone hold your cat in place on the floor. Look down.

Cats should have a waist. Run your hands down the cat from ribs to hip. You should see a slight waist.

There should be an indentation in the abdomen when you run your hand from ribs to pelvis.

Ribs can be felt without a fat padding.

Vet's Evaluation

The best way to accurately evaluate your cat's weight is to take your pet to the vet. The vet is the only person who can give you an exact evaluation of your cat's condition. He or she can also offer suggestions and tips for changing your cat's diet if needed. Prior to your visit, you may want to chart the amount and type of food that you are feeding, as well as how often you are feeding it. If your cat gets treats or sneaks something from the counter, be sure to also write that down. It is also good to keep track of exercise.Your veterinarian will look at your cat as well as the records you have kept. He will assess not only your cat's weight but also her health. He may look for an underlying reason why she is overweight and run some tests on blood and urine samples.Your Cat on a Diet

It is important to carefully follow any recommendations that your vet gives you very. Here are some tips for putting your cat on a diet:

Make food changes gradually over the course of a week or two.

Use canned food. Dry food has a lot of carbohydrates and can cause your cat to gain weight.

If your pet is very sedentary, it may be time to get a toy and have scheduled play times with her.

Use a baby scale to keep track of small weight changes.

Finding a healthy weight for cats is not that difficult to do, but it does take some time to make a healthy change in your cat's weight. Be patient and go slowly. Give your cat a chance to acclimate to the new eating and exercise habits. Once your pet is at a healthy weight, try to keep her there. She will be healthier, happier and less likely to fall victim to disease

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