How to Tell if Your Cat is Too Fat

Were you aware that nearly half of domestic cats are over their weight limits? If you suspect there’s even a chance that your feline falls into that statistic, use these suggestions from a Tampa veterinary professional to make certain.

Look Down from Above

Stand above your cat, straddling her, and look directly down at her body. There should be a slight indent behind the ribs, blending into the rear end. This is your cat’s “waist.” If you don’t see an indent—or worse, this area bulges out—your cat is probably overweight.

Look from the Side

Get down on the floor and try to get a good look at your cat’s body from the side profile. On your cat’s underside, behind the ribcage, there should be a slight upward tuck that leads between the back legs. If there is a straight line from your cat’s belly to the rear end, or the area seems to have a lot of sagging, obesity may be to blame.

Feel the Ribs

Place one hand on each side of your cat and feel the ribs—you should be able to feel them fairly easily with some slight pressing. There should be a thin layer of fat, but not one large enough that it obscures obvious rib bones. If you can’t feel the ribs, your cat may be obese.

Consult a Diagram

Try going online and finding a diagram of what a healthy cat should look like. Compare this image with that of your cat, and you’ll have a good idea if your cat falls within the proper weight categories. These diagrams are also available at some pet stores and veterinarian’s offices. Some charts even contain weight scoring tables that you can use to evaluate your cat’s weight and health.

See Your Vet

Of course, a professional’s opinion is always best. The most definitive way to tell if your cat is obese is to have her examined by a vet. If she is, your veterinarian can help you start your cat on an effective weight-loss plan. With proper diet and exercise, your cat can return to a healthy weight in a very short period of time—call your Tampa vet’s office to get started.

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