Obesity is the same for cats as it is for humans. While a small amount of fat is good for your cat-where his bones and vital organs are protected, an excessive amount can cause health problems such as diabetes and heart problems. Also, when cats are too fat, they cannot groom themselves as well as the cat that is at a healthy weight. You cat does not look cute any longer now that he has matted fur and dirty legs.
Obesity in cats is a growing problem. “40 percent of cats are considered to be obese! Only 5 to 10 percent of all cats can be classified as only slightly overweight. In recent years Feline Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes) has become almost a daily diagnosis in animal hospitals all across America…And the 40 percent obesity figure seems to be growing” (petcenter.com).
Depending on the breed of your cat, he should weigh between nine and eleven pounds. Some of the larger breeds can weigh up to fifteen pounds. While in most cases, an obese kitty is obviously noticeable, you sometimes cannot tell if you cat is carrying the extra pounds. He might be a long haired Persian where his bulge is well hidden.
If your cat is consuming more than seven ounces of food a day, you most likely are overfeeding him. If he is the type of cat that likes to lie around and sleep and is not active, the chances are that he will gain weight are high. While your veterinarian can tell you if your cat is fat, there are some things that you can do at home to see if you have a chubby kitty.
Place your hands on your cat’s ribs. You should be able to feel the ribs under his fur.
You should also be able to feel your cat’s pelvic bones, spine and shoulder blades. There should only be a light padding of fat in these areas.
Stand above your cat and look down at him. He should have a waistline. If the waist is wider than the ribs, then your cat has a weight problem.
If you have determined that your cat is too fat for his health, you have to determine how he got that way in the first place. You may believe that you are feeding him right. However, there are many reasons why a cat is overweight. Once you determine the root cause of his weight problem, you can work on helping your cat lose his extra baggage.