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A simple guide on how to tell if your cat is underweight, overweight or their ideal weight

With our fluffy feline friends covered in lovely soft fur, it can be difficult to tell if the body underneath is a healthy size, or if they’ve been piling on or shedding too many pounds.

According to Cats Protection’s CATS (Cats and Their Stats) 2022 report, owners are less likely to think that their cat is an ideal weight this year (26%), compared to 2021 (29%).

More owners now think that their cat is underweight (38%), up from 35% in 2021, and 30% of owners recognise their cat as overweight.

brown tabby cat looking at the camera

However, these figures are owner-reported. Vet-reported figures for feline obesity in the UK vary, with some studies finding up to 44% of cats are overweight.

So how do you tell if your cat is a healthy weight? The best thing to do is take them to a vet who can examine them and give you an accurate assessment of their health.

However, it’s also a good idea to monitor your cat’s weight at home in between vet visits, so you can spot any big changes in their size early.

How much should my cat weigh?

The average weight for a moggy is approximately 4kg (9lb) but this can vary depending on a number of factors. Your vet will be able to tell you what weight is healthy for your cat.

Weighing your cat at home can be tricky, as they may not be willing to stand still on the scales. The best method is to stand on the scales yourself while you’re holding your cat or place your cat in a carrier on the scales, then you can subtract your weight or the weight of the carrier from the reading to get your cat’s weight.

How do I tell if my cat is underweight?

Cats Protection's 'Is my cat underweight?' infographic

If your cat is 10% under their ideal weight then they are classed as underweight.

If your cat is underweight:

How do I tell if my cat is overweight?

Cats Protection infographic showing how to tell if your cat is overweight

If your cat is 10% over their ideal weight then they are classed as overweight. If they are more than 20% over their ideal weight then they are obese.

If your cat is overweight:

How do I tell if my cat is the correct weight?

If your cat is their ideal weight:

Being overweight or underweight can lead to health problems for your cat, so if you’re concerned about a change in their weight then speak to your vet for advice. You can also find tips for feeding your cat a healthy diet on our website.

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