Ensuring your cat maintains a healthy weight is crucial for its overall well-being. The UK Pet Food Association has developed resources to assist cat owners in this endeavour.
The Cat-Size-O-Meter is a handy tool provided by the UK Pet Food Association. It offers a visual guide to help you determine if your cat is within the ideal weight range, underweight, or overweight. Regularly checking your cat's size and weight using this tool can help you keep track of any changes.
As a responsible pet owner, it's essential to monitor your cat's weight on a regular basis. Consider using the downloadable Cat Size-O-Meter chart for reference. You can access and print a PDF copy by clicking on the image below:
How to assess your cat's weight and size
- With your cat standing in front of you, gently run your fingers along the side of your cat. Can you see and feel the ribs?
- If you can feel the ribs, how easy are they to feel?
- If you can very easily feel the ribs, spine, hips, or other bony prominence such as the shoulders, your cat may be too thin.
- What if there is a thin layer of fat covering the ribs? If you can feel the ribs with some very light finger pressure, then your cat is likely to be in good shape.
- If you cannot feel the ribcage, can you feel the indentation of the waist when you run your fingers along the backs and sides?
- If you can feel the waist indentation, your cat may be fine or just slightly overweight.
- If you cannot feel the waist indentation and there is a rounding to the belly area, your cat is likely to be overweight.
- Move your hand over the lower back and hips. Can you feel a significant layer of fat or padding in this area? If yes and there is a marked drooping of your cat’s belly, your cat is likely to be very overweight.
Understanding Cat Breeds and Shapes
It's essential to note that some cats naturally have different shapes and sizes. For instance, long-haired cats might appear bulkier due to their fur, making it challenging to judge their actual body condition. Similarly, certain breeds like the Maine Coon are naturally larger than the average domestic cat. However, regardless of the breed, the ideal body shape should remain consistent.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Once you've determined your cat's ideal weight, it's essential to monitor its size regularly. If you notice any weight gain, consider adjusting its diet and ensuring it gets adequate exercise. Remember, just like humans, cats can also overindulge during festive seasons or when there are changes in their routine.
Consistency is Key
Cats thrive on routine. Any significant changes in their lifestyle can impact their weight and overall health. It's essential to be mindful of these changes and strive to keep your cat's routine as consistent as possible.
If you're ever unsure about your cat's weight or need guidance on using the Cat-Size-O-Meter, consult with your veterinarian or a pet care professional for expert advice. They can provide tailored recommendations to ensure your feline friend stays in peak condition.
You can find a range of additional resources and tools for weight management on the UK Pet Food association website.