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

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

Weight gain is a common issue with cats, especially for older ones with slower metabolism, or indoor kitties. Our Novato vets list a few signs that your cat may be overweight, and what steps you can take.

How can I tell if my cat is overweight?

You can determine whether your cat is overweight by taking them to the vet for an examination. The vet can provide a proper diagnosis and offer guidance on managing their weight.

However, there are a few signs that can give you an indication of whether your cat is likely overweight. When you gently feel your cat's rib cage, the layer of fat on a healthy cat should be similar to the thickness on the back of your hand. If you cannot feel their ribs at all or only when applying firm pressure, it may suggest that your cat is overweight or obese.

Visual cues can also provide some insight into your cat's weight and condition. Look down at your cat when they are standing. Ideally, there should be a slight inward curve above the hips, resembling a waist (although this may be challenging to observe in long-haired cats).

If the area around the waist bulges outward instead, it could indicate 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 don't require extensive exercise to maintain their health, but the recommended amount can vary depending on their age and breed. As a general guideline, try to engage in two daily interactive play sessions lasting about fifteen minutes each. These sessions can involve activities such as playing with toys, encouraging your cat to chase and leap.

Additionally, providing an indoor cat tree can offer extra opportunities for jumping and climbing, which can contribute to your cat's exercise routine.

Diet & Feeding

To assist your pet in achieving gradual weight loss, consider incorporating a nutritious cat food specifically formulated for weight control. If your cat is significantly obese, your veterinarian might suggest a therapeutic weight loss food that requires a prescription. Remember to introduce any new cat food gradually to allow your cat to adjust to the change.

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.

Do you suspect your cat is overweight? Contact our Novato vets to schedule an assessment at Bel Marin Animal Hospital.

New Patients Welcome

Bel Marin Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Novato companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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