Weight concerns and managing a healthy weight is just as vital for cats as it is for their human counterparts. An overweight cat can end up with as many or more health problems as an overweight human, including arthritis, diabetes and heart disease, while being at greater risk for complications from anesthesia and surgery. This is why finding out what the most appropriate weight is for your kitty is incredibly important.
It is difficult to summarise the healthy weight for a cat because the ideal range can vary dramatically with the size, sex, age and breed of each cat, so the best way to manage an overweight cat is with the assistance of your vet.
A cat’s ideal weight can be gauged roughly by examining both the breed standard and the body condition/frame size of your cat. Usually the standard for each breed will include an ideal weight range for both males and females.
Broadly speaking, the ideal weight of cats are:
Domestic cat: 3.5kg to 4.5kg
Persian cat: 3.0kg to 5.5kg
Siamese cat: 2.0kg to 4.5kg
Maine Coon cat: 4.5kg to 11kg
In measuring the frame of your cat, you should be able to feel your cats ribs as well as see their waist when you look at your cat from above, as a cat’s waist line should go inwards.
In addtion to obvious physical signs, there are multiple behavioral clues to look out for which could indicate your cat is overweight or even obese. These include, your cat often appearing tired and lazy (beyond that of a normal cat), hesitation when jumping, difficulty grooming properly, matted hair on the back or tail area and a reluctance to play games. You may even notice that they are having trouble climbing stairs, jumping from high places or even standing on their hind legs. This may be a symptom of an onset of arthritis which can be managed by reducing your cat’s weight.
Cat’s that are of a healthy weight won’t require a special diet, however, a cat that is severely under or overweight should have their caloric needs met with specialised foods and a recommended diet by a vet. Because weight fluctuations can be caused by both disease and diet, it is critical you seek the advice of your veterinarian to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
Remember, it’s okay to treat your pets, but they’re meant to be just that – a treat.
Not an everyday food.
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