Obesity in cats

Concerned about what to feed your cat? Take a look at our guide on feline obesity and keeping your cat a healthy weight.


Concerned your cat has put on a few pounds? It is important to manage your cat's weight to ensure they are not overfed and get plenty of exercise. Prevention is always better than cure - a cat that has previously been overweight is much more likely to be overweight in the future.

If you're wondering if your cat is overweight, a simple way to tell is to look at them from above. From here, you should be able to see a waistline. You should also be able to feel your cat's ribs easily when you stroke their body lightly.

Keeping your cat a healthy weight

Overweight cats are defined as being greater than 15% over their ideal body weight, while obese cats are generally 30% above their ideal weight. Younger cats are more likely to be overweight, while older cats are likely to have a tendency to be underweight as they often eat less as they get older.

While it might be tempting to spoil your cat with treats, many overweight and obese cats have a poor quality of life. Their weight can restrict their ability to groom properly and they often suffer with joint problems. There is also the possibility that they may develop weight-related diseases, like diabetes and urinary tract infections.

The best way to ensure you keep your cat a healthy weight is to feed them a balanced diet. Like humans, cats need the right amount of nutrients to keep them healthy, so it's best to keep to a reputable pet food which includes everything cats need. For more information, look at our guide on feeding cats

A balanced diet

If your cat is overweight, a vet can help you to find an appropriate feeding regime and diet to ensure they get the right amount of food without being overfed. You might want to weigh food out daily - many cat foods come with ready-made scoops to use, although it is important not to overfill these.

Overweight cats should never be put on a 'crash diet' - as this can be can be very harmful. Instead, a gradual and steady decrease in body weight is ideal. It might take up to a year for your cat to reach an ideal weight.

If you live in a multi-cat household, it can be difficult to keep one cat from eating the other's food. Keeping the cats in separate rooms is a good way to get around this. You might also choose to provide the overweight cat with a toy that slowly releases food - it will give them a little exercise while they eat.

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