There’s something about bigger and fluffier cats that’s just more inviting. Really, fluff makes any animal more cuddly and cute. It’s just a fact of life. However, there’s a downside to fluff that many pet owners tend to deny. There’s a fine line between a fluffy cat and a fat cat, and while fat cats may still be cute, their health becomes more of a concern in that scenario. Most of the time, it’s difficult to tell whether you actually have a fat cat or just a fluffy one, but it’s important that you do. If you do have a fat cat, you need to address it and take proper measures in order to get your cat back into better shape. Its life will ultimately depend on it.
Different cat breeds come in at different weights. Some cats tend to be bigger than others naturally. The rule of thumb is that your cat’s body weight should never exceed its ideal “normal” weight; otherwise, the cat would be considered obese. Unfortunately, roughly 60 percent of cats in the US are considered to be overweight or obese, and it’s causing many cats to develop serious illnesses and disorders.
Fat or Fluff?
There are a few ways you can tell if you’re cat is fat or not. If you’re having difficulty seeing through your cat’s thick fur, you’ll have to go by feeling. By putting your hands on either side of your cat, you should get a good indication of how much fat it’s got. If the ribs are too difficult to find or feel, then there’s a high likelihood that the cat is overweight. Your cat should also show a waist. If there’s too much bulge in the midsection, then it’s also likely to be overweight. The belly doesn’t have to be bulging for a cat to have too much weight on; if a cat’s waist is just as wide as its chest, then it’s also considered to be overweight.
Other behavioral factors could point to a cat that has gotten too fat for its own good. If a cat’s activity has slowed down tremendously, make sure you check its weight. The cat’s collar could tell you a lot as well. You shouldn’t have to adjust it to make it bigger; otherwise it just means that your cat has gained weight. If your cat is struggling with activities that it can usually do without running out of breath, check its weight again.
If you are suspecting something to be amiss, but you just can’t pinpoint if it’s your cat’s weight or not, just bring it to the vet. The vet will be able to tell you directly if your cat’s problem is weight-related or not. The vet will also be able to take into consideration any factors that are relatable to the cat’s weight—breed, age, body size, and other factors.
Risks and Solutions
Fat cats may be cute, but they are also unhealthy. Abnormally high cat weights are dangerous. This puts the cat at higher risk for many kinds of diseases. There’s heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, liver disease, kidney disease, and so many more. Even if a cat doesn’t develop any of these, fat cats are more likely to live shorter life spans than if they were in healthier shape.
There are many ways that you can address your cat’s weight. Diet plays a big part in staying healthy, but it’s not always necessarily about what you cat eats. It’s important for you to monitor when and how often your cat eats food. Giving your cat scheduled meals instead of just randomly filling its bowl up whenever empty will be better for your cat altogether. You should also measure your cat’s food instead of just filling up the bowl freely.
It might also be a good idea to switch your cat’s food from dry to canned (wet). Canned cat food tends to have more proteins and fluids to keep your cat feeling full for much longer than usual. Canned food also tends to have fewer carbs in comparison to dry food. A diet that contains fewer carbs will help your cat lose a little bit of weight.
If you’re concerned about your cat’s weight, your first course of action should be to go visit a vet. Talking to your vet will assuage all your concerns, and the vet should be able to come up with a diet and exercise plan for you to implement and your cat to follow. Visiting the vet will eliminate the guessing game of what you should do if you do have a fat cat.