For new cat owners, one of the first questions they ask before adopting a cat is how much do cats weigh? This question might seem simple and straightforward, but it’s actually quite complicated.
There are many factors that come into play when determining an animal’s weight. Factors, such as their age, breed, sex, type of food eaten (raw or processed), whether the animal has been spayed/neutered and even how often they go to the vet, can affect their weight.
In this blog post, we will walk you through the factors that influences your cat’s weight and shed light on the ideal weight of a cat.
Ideal Weight of Male and Female Cats
A healthy weight for a male cat is between 11 and 15 pounds and the average healthy weight for a female cat is 8-12 pounds. Although, with so many variables, it can be difficult to determine the ideal weight.
Factors, such as breed, age, and environment, all play an important role in determining a cat’s healthy weight. To give you some reference points, on average, cats should weigh between 6 and 9 pounds.
If your cat weighs less than 5 pounds, they may have health issues that need attention. If they weigh more than 16 pounds, they are overweight or obese, which will lead to other health problems down the road.
A cat’s health can be assessed by feeling the ribcage, spine, and hips. The ribs should not be visible or feel sharp when you run your hand down the side of their chest. You should also be able to easily feel the hip bones, but you shouldn’t see them protruding through the skin. It is recommended that cats have an easy-to-grip waist with no obvious fat rolls around in order to assess whether they are overfed or underfed or if there is a health issue.
What to Do if Your Cat is Overweight
If your cat has gained too much weight, then it’s time to take them for a vet visit. Your vet can help you determine the cause of your overweight cat and devise a plan for reducing their weight. The primary goal is to reduce their waistline so that they have an easier time breathing and moving around.
Some cats are given special diets or prescribed medications, such as prednisone, which will help burn fat while also strengthening muscles. These treatments are not always successful, but there are many other options available to help your cat get healthy again.
What to Do If Your Cat Is Underweight
If you are worried that your cat is underweight, it is very important to take him or her in for a veterinary exam. The vet will be able to examine your cat and advise you on the best course of action.
Some causes of weight loss can include parasites, cancer, diabetes, and inflammation of the intestine due to food sensitivity or infection, kidney disease and more. A veterinarian may recommend blood tests to check for these diseases, as well as x-rays and other imaging studies.
These imaging studies allow vets to see if there are any masses in the body, which could indicate cancer or other illnesses, such as infections within the abdomen or intestinal lining. One way that veterinarians determine whether an animal’s weight is too low is by calculating its Body Condition Score.
Body Condition Score
Understanding your cat’s body condition score is a key part of caring for your cat. A healthy cat has a plump, round appearance with well-defined ribs and abdomen muscles, while an unhealthy or malnourished cat will have sunken sides and back, prominent ribs, and thin fur.
The best way to figure out how healthy your cat is by using the Cat Body Condition Score chart, which rates cats on a scale from 1-9 in four categories: weight; muscle tone; skin elasticity; and fat cover.
Reduce Portion Size
Cats are known for being a little on the chubby side. If you’ve noticed your cat is getting heavier, and they’re not eating more than usual, it may be time to cut back on portion size. It’s easy to do this by feeding them wet food instead of dry food but don’t forget to make sure they get plenty of exercise.
Use an automatic feeder
If you have a cat and are worried about their weight, there’s an easy way to help them lose weight, use an automatic feeder. Automatic feeders can be programmed to release specific amounts of food at predetermined times. This means that if you’re eating out for the night or know that you’ll be gone from home for a few days, your pet will still receive the appropriate amount of food they need.
Our Final Thoughts
It is important for owners to understand how much do cats weigh and what their cat’s weight means. If you’ve been wondering how to tell if your cat is overweight or not, there are a number of factors that come into play when determining an animal’s weight.
If you notice that their weight has been fluctuating for an extended period of time or if they are losing too much weight, then this could be a sign of health problems and should prompt you to contact your vet immediately.
As discussed earlier, different factors like a cat’s age, breed, sex, type of food they eat, whether they have been spayed/neutered, affect their weight.
You may also want to consider consulting with a veterinarian before spaying/neutering your animal as this procedure will have an impact on their weight in some way or another. Weighing animals regularly helps ensure both their safety and our peace-of-mind.