If you’re concerned about the well-being of your cat, knowing whether it is the right weight may help you decide if your cat needs to see a vet.
Most importantly, it will help you and your vet make decisions about how to keep your cat at a healthy weight. Understanding your cat’s ideal weight is also important because obesity is a major health concern for cats.
“What should my cat weigh?” If you have ever asked this question, or been worried about your cat’s weight, then you are not alone. Many pet owners wonder what their cat should weigh and if they are too heavy.
Cats come in all shapes and sizes, but there is a general idea of what a healthy weight looks like for your average housecat. In this blog post we will explore how to determine if your cat is overweight and the best way to help them lose that extra weight!
First off, what does a healthy weight look like? For cats that are living in the house and not spayed or neutered, they should weigh about 13 pounds. This is just an average though so if your cat falls below this number it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to worry right away.
It can be normal for them to fluctuate up and down by two or three pounds depending on how much time they spend outdoors or getting more exercise than usual.
But if their weight has been steadily dropping over time then there may be something wrong with their health which we will get into further detail later!
What is considered overweight for a cat?
Now let’s talk about determining whether your cat is overweight!
In humans, being overweight is known to cause a wide variety of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. But is there really a cat obesity epidemic?
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), there is: a staggering 52 percent of US cats are overweight or obese. Because cats can hide their symptoms, it can be difficult to tell if your cat is overweight. (The same is true for overweight humans: Have you ever noticed how baggy pants tend to hide love handles?) Identifying your cat’s ideal body weight is one way to tell if he’s overweight or obese.
If your cat is overweight, it may be a cause for concern. Being overweight can cause health problems and make it harder for your pet to move around. So what is considered overweight for a cat? Most cats should be between 7% and 10% of their ideal body weight, which is determined by measuring your pet.
To determine what your cat’s ideal body weight is, you can use the following:
- Using “Pet Weight Chart (lbs) for Cats by Breed and Age”
- If your pet weighs more than twice her ideal body weight, she may be obese. If this applies to your cat, talk with a veterinarian about treatment options such as dieting or surgery.
Your vet will also discuss other health concerns that excess pounds may lead to like diabetes mellitus, arthritis and insulin resistance syndrome.
You don’t have to wait until there’s a problem though—you can proactively take some steps at home now!
Is it OK to free-feed a cat?
This is a question that every cat owner asks themselves at some point. Cats are natural hunters, and they will eat about a third of their body weight in food each day.
They should get about four or five small meals a day, but many cat owners struggle to feed their cats this often, so they end up feeding their cats a little bit of food at a time. Free-feeding is when you leave food out all day for your cat to eat whenever they want.
Many cat owners wonder if free-feeding their cats is a safe and healthy way of providing care for their feline friends. Cats are typically carnivores, and free-feeding may not be the best method of providing their food.
The free-feeding vs. feeding by schedule debate can be difficult to decide on, and nobody knows which method is best for your cat better than you do!
Free-feeding allows cats the freedom of being able to eat when they want, but it also means that some cats will overeat if left unsupervised or are fed a high calorie diet (like canned food).
Cats who are eating too many calories from foods other than dry kibble should have their meals supplemented with wet food, so they get less of those high levels of fat and calories in their system.
On the other hand, if you feed your cat at specific times each day then this may help them lose weight because regular mealtimes can lead to smaller portions eaten per day.
Average Cat Weight vs. Healthy Cat Weight
A healthy cat should weigh between five and eight pounds. The average weight is six or seven pounds. Unlike humans, a cat’s size does not determine what they look like as far as being overweight or underweight; it all depends on the ratio of their body to muscle mass.
Cats who are too thin may be ill due to an underlying medical condition such as feline leukemia, hyperthyroidism, lymphoma, kidney disease or diabetes mellitus type I (the insulin-dependent form).
The first step in determining if your pet needs more food is to accurately measure its portion sizes.
It’s confirmed: Cats are getting fatter
If you own a cat, you may have noticed it might be getting a bit chubby lately. This is no coincidence. A recent study by the Association for Pet Obesity Awareness (APOA), a nonprofit charity in the US, found that cat obesity rates have increased by more than 50 percent in the last five years.
The research, which was conducted with the help of a major pet food manufacturer, showed that cats are getting heavier, with the average kitty now weighing in at 9.1 lbs (4.1 kg).
It’s no secret that cats are cute, but all of that cuteness is coming at a price. A new study shows that one-third of all domesticated felines are overweight.
In fact, those cats are so overweight that they face a slightly shorter life span, as well as increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: giving them more exercise and adding more variety to their diet.
Try lower-calorie food
Just like humans, cats can develop weight problems due to poor diet. The extra weight puts pressure on their joints, risking hip and joint disease. The extra weight can also shorten their lifespan. Diet is especially important in the first year of life, when a cat’s body is growing rapidly and it needs all the nutrients it can get.
The first thing to try is a lower-calorie food. There are several on the market, including Wellness Core and Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet.
Switch to wet food
So, what should you do to keep your cat healthy and fit? The simple answer is to give her wet food, not dry food. A cat’s physiology is different from a human’s, and we need to recognize this in order to understand the proper nutritional needs of our pets.
Cats love to eat, and it is no surprise that they will eat pretty much anything they come across. Unfortunately, many cat owners give their felines access to dry food 24/7. This is great for the cat, but not so great for their waistlines.
It is no secret that we humans are more likely to eat more if we have access to snacks 24/7, so it shouldn’t be surprising that cats love to eat dry food all the time too. So, if you want to keep your cat healthy, you should consider switching to wet food instead.
Cats don’t need a lot of food each day, so switching to wet food can help them eat less. If your cat doesn’t like the taste and texture of canned foods, trade it out for water-simmered tuna or chicken meat mixed with low-calorie cooking liquid such as veggie broth.
Cut back on portion size
Cats may be loving their treats, but it means they are eating too much of the wrong things. Pet owners are being warned to cut back on portion sizes for their pet cats, who are getting fatter. Official figures show the average cat is 2lb heavier than it was 20 years ago. Owners are being told to offer them smaller plates of food, and only feed them treats once a week, rather than alternating day.
As pet owners, it is up to us to take responsibility for the health of our pets. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to keep your pet at a healthy weight and provide them with the proper nutrition and exercise. The first step is to be aware of what your pet is eating and how much. The next step is to make an effort to reduce the amount of food you are giving your pet.