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Is your cat overweight? Signs & Symptoms

Is your cat overweight? Signs & Symptoms

Many older vats, as well as indoor ones, often face weight gain problems. Our Ketchum vets list signs that your cat may be overweight and what steps you can take.

How can I tell if my cat is overweight?

You can confirm whether your cat is overweight by bringing them to the vet for an exam. The veterinarian can also provide a specific diagnosis and provide guidance for weight management.

There are more straightforward ways to gauge your cat's weight. When you touch their rib cage, it should feel like the back of your hand. If you can't feel the ribs or only when you press hard, your cat might be too heavy. 

We can also look for visual cues to get some indication of your cat's weight and condition. Begin by looking down at your cat when they are standing. There should be a slight indentation above the hips resembling a waist (remember that this may be difficult if your cat has long hair). If the waist area bulges out instead, your cat may be overweight. 

How can I help my cat lose weight?

If your vet says your cat is too heavy, they'll suggest an exercise plan and diet to help them reach a healthy weight. Here are some tips to assist your cat in shedding those extra pounds:

Regular Exercise

Cats can stay healthy with just a bit of exercise, but the right amount depends on their age and breed. In general, though, aim for two fifteen-minute sessions per day of interactive play, including activities like chasing and leaping after a toy.

You may also consider investing in an indoor cat tree to provide extra opportunities to jump and climb.

Diet & Feeding

You can help your overweight cat lose weight by switching to a special weight-control cat food. If your cat is very obese, your vet might suggest a special weight-loss food. Make sure to introduce the new food slowly to help your cat adjust. 


Bring your cat to the vet to be weighed on a regular basis. This will let the vet know if further dietary adjustments or testing are needed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you suspect your cat is overweight? Contact our Ketchum vets to schedule an assessment at .

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