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Is Your Cat Overweight? Signs, Symptoms & What to Do

Is Your Cat Overweight? Signs, Symptoms & What to Do

An unhealthy weight is a common issue in cats, particularly indoor cats who tend to put on a few pounds when they have less opportunity to exercise. In this post, our Babcock Ranch veterinarians discuss the signs and symptoms of your cat being overweight, how it can negatively affect them, and what you can do about it.

How can I tell if my cat is overweight?

To determine if your cat is overweight, a visit to the vet for an examination can provide confirmation and expert guidance on weight management. However, there are some simple indicators you can observe at home.

When gently feeling your cat's rib cage, the padding should be similar to the thickness on the back of your hand for a healthy weight. If you cannot feel the ribs or can only feel them with firm pressure, your cat may be overweight.

Additionally, visually assessing your cat while standing can provide clues. Look for a slight waist indentation above the hips (although this may be challenging with long-haired cats). If the waist area bulges outward, it may suggest that your cat is overweight.

How can I help my cat lose weight?

If your vet finds that your cat is overweight, they will prescribe an exercise routine and diet to help get them on track to a healthy weight. Here are some things you can do to help your cat lose weight:

Regular Exercise

Cats have different exercise needs depending on their age and breed, but they generally don't require extensive physical activity to stay healthy. A good guideline is to aim for two short interactive play sessions per day, lasting around fifteen minutes each. Engaging in activities like chasing and leaping after toys can be beneficial.

To provide additional outlets for jumping and climbing, you might want to consider getting an indoor cat tree. This can offer your cat extra opportunities for exercise and exploration.

Diet & Feeding

You can help your pet lose weight gradually by feeding a nutritious weight control formula cat food. If your cat is very obese, your vet may recommend prescribe a special therapeutic weight loss food. Always transition gradually to get her used to a new kind of cat food.

Check In

Bring your cat to the vet to be weighed on a regular basis. This will let the vet know if further dietary adjustments or testing are needed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you suspect that your cat is a little heavier than they should be, contact our Babcock Ranch vets today to book a physical examination.

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Animal Hospital at Babcock is welcoming new patients. Our team provides compassionate care to you and your animal companions. Book your appointment today!


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