If you have a cat, you know how adorable cats can be. The fluffier they are, the cuter they get, like Puss in Boots in the last Shrek movie. And sometimes, we think the fatter they are, the healthier they must be. But just as being overweight is not good for humans, so it is for cats.
How fat is too fat?
Weight gain a common issue with cats like it is human, especially when they get older and metabolism slows down. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, nearly 60 percent of cats in the United States are overweight. Being overweight can lead to health problems in your cat.
It is important to recognize if your cat is getting overweight so you can make some changes in your cat’s diet and general lifestyle.
One way to see if your cat is overweight is to feel along her rib cage. A healthy cat’s padding should not feel thicker than the padding over the back of your hand. If you have to press firmly to feel her ribs, this is a sign of being overweight. If you cannot feel her ribs at all, she may actually be obese.
Another method is observing her body condition. Stand over your cat and look down while she is standing. For a healthy cat, you would be able to see a slight indentation over her hips that resembles a waist (this may be hard for cats with long hair). On the other hand, if your cat’s sides bulge out instead, this can be a sign that she is overweight.
The most reliable way to tell if your cat is unhealthily overweight would be to check with your veterinarian. Your vet can weigh and examine your pet’s overall body condition and will be able to recommend practices that can help control your cat’s weight.