Is your cat a chonk? Are they pleasantly plump? extra “fluffy”? Big-boned? Do they roll over and have a hard time sitting back up? Do they lick their paws to clean by their tail instead of just licking? Do they look like bean bag chairs with a head? Right now the Tik Tok and Instagram are filled with videos and memes of cats not being able to fit through cat doors, or falling over like a roly-poly. These fat cats are adorable! But this feline body acceptance is a killer…literally.
Since Garfield and likely before, we have had a great affection for the fat lazy cat. The problem is the fat lazy cat has a greatly diminished quality of life and life span. A lot of pet owners are starting to confuse cuddly with fat. Your cat can be just as cuddly when they are fit.
How to Tell if Your Cat is Fat
- Feel for ribs. If you pet your cat and you cannot feel their ribs, they are overweight. You should be able to run your hands along your cats side and feel their ribs with a little covering of fat, more than that and your cat may need to lose weight.
- Low hanging belly. If your look at your cat from the side and you see a big pouch of hanging fat, not just skin, then your could have an obesity issue.
- Feel the spine. When you pet your cat’s back you should be able to feel their spine right below a small layer of fat. If you cannot feel their spine, your cat is overweight.
- The waistline. Look at your cat from above and if the space between their ribs and their hips rounds out instead of straight back or narrowing in, your cat is overweight.
A fat cat is at higher risk of a lot of health issues like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and infections. An obese cat will often have a shorter life span and their quality of life decreases because they are not as physically active. Cats like to run and play as well as sleep in sun spots.
If you are not sure if your cat is overweight bring them in to Albuquerque Vetco veterinary clinic for an annual exam and ask your vet about their weight. If your cat is overweight your vet can help you come up with a weight loss plan which will likely include a change in diet and increase in exercise. Often just changing up the type and quantity of food will make a big difference in your cat’s weight. A lot of people are simply feeding the wrong kind of food for their cat’s needs. We can help you identify what the best diet is based on their overall health, age, and activity level.
Getting your cat’s weight under control will make your cat feel better, have more energy, and live longer.