Ideal figure or overweight cat?

How to establish whether your cat’s weight is normal or if the cat is overweight or underweight.

The cat’s calorific intake depends on several factors. An indoor/outdoor cat for instance burns much more energy than an indoor cat. Age, weight and coat condition affect calorie consumption. This means the recommended daily ration on the cat food label is a general guideline only.

In order to establish the correct amount of food, you should weigh your cat regularly. If the weight stays the same, the amount of food is OK. If the cat loses weight, you should increase the food rations. If the weight loss persists despite increased food intake, you should take your cat to see the vet.

If the cat puts on weight, the energy content of the food must be reduced by changing to a light product or/and reducing the amount of food available to the cat.

Cats are grossly underweight, if …

  • … You can see lumbar vertebra, hipbones and ribs from a distance.
  • … You can see the knee fold clearly.
  • … When looking down on your pet, the cat’s waist and neck appear very narrow.
  • … The cat has no fat on the flanks and any folds are not developed. If your cat is grossly underweight you should consult a vet.

Cats are underweight, if …

  • … When looking down your pet, the cat’s waist appears narrow.
  • … You can easily feel ribs.
  • … Your cat has hardly any fat.

Cats are of normal weight, if …

  • … You can feel the ribs but cannot see them.
  • … When looking down on your cat, you can see a little bit of a waist.
  • … Flank folds are present.

Cats are overweight, if …

  • … The belly is slightly distended.
  • … The belly wobbles a little bit when the cat moves around.
  • … The flank folds are hanging (with moderate fat).
  • … There is increased fat over the ribcage.

Cats are obese, if …

  • … The belly is rounded and there is hardly any discernible or no waist at all.
  • … Ribs are not easy to feel.
  • … There are conspicuous flank folds which swing together with the belly when the cat walks.

Obesity is not a matter of opinion but a serious health concern for the animal. Grossly obese animals should be put on a diet but only as directed by your vet.


Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts