It’s something to take seriously. Even just a couple of extra pounds can make your pet more likely to get some health problems such as type 2 diabetes and make others, like arthritis, worse. It can even keep them from grooming themselves properly. Keeping off excess weight should lead to a healthier, happier cat.
We know cats are typically small animals, but often we are unsure how much our beloved pets should weigh. Although your cat’s weight will naturally change over their lifetime, gaining or losing too much weight can pose problems for their health. If pet owners overfeed their cats or give them too many treats, this can lead to obesity, which often has long-lasting and serious effects on a cat’s health. However, if cats aren’t fed enough, or they lose weight quickly, this can also become a serious health issue. In this article, Whiskas investigate average cat weight, and how much you should feed your cat to ensure they stay in top condition.
The average cat weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kg). However, this depends on breed, age, and gender. For example, a female Singapura weighs about 4 pounds (1.8 kg), while a male Maine Coon can weigh 25 pounds (11.3 kg). Female cats tend to weigh about 2-3 pounds more than males.
Ideal Weight For Cats
Most domestic cats should weigh about 10 pounds, though that can vary by breed and frame. A Siamese cat may weigh as few as 5 pounds, while a Maine Coon can be 25 pounds and healthy.
What Should The Average Cat Weigh?
In veterinary medicine, we often say that the ideal weight for the average healthy cat is 10 pounds.
We follow that statement with the qualifier that healthy cats come in a variety of sizes and weights. More than the weight alone, we must evaluate the body frame size and the lean muscle mass of a cat.
How Is A Cat’s Ideal Weight Determined?
To account for all of the variables (body frame, lean muscle mass, etc.) and make this evaluation less subjective and more standardized, veterinarians developed the “Body Condition Score” chart.
This chart categorizes the body condition of a cat on a 9-point scale—with 9 being morbidly obese and 1 being extremely emaciated. Ideally, your cat should fall into the 4-5 range.
Does The Average Healthy Cat Weight Vary Amongst Breeds?
The difference in body size between breeds of cat can be significant.
Some breeds, like the Abyssinian, are meant to be long and lithe with delicate features. These more petite cats can have a healthy body weight of as little as 7-8 pounds.
Maine Coon cats are bred to have a medium to large body frame with broad chests and strong features, and may have a healthy body weight of over 20 pounds.
The best way to learn if your cat is at a healthy weight is to work with your veterinarian. They can account for the variables (body frame, muscle mass and breed) in order to determine what your cat’s ideal healthy weight is.
And through annual checkups, you can ensure that your cat is maintaining their healthy weight into their adult and senior years.
Average Weight Of A Male Cat
The average male cat weighs between 11-15 pounds (5-6.8 kg). On average, across all cat breeds, they weigh 2-3 pounds (0.91-1.36 kg) heavier than female cats. This is because males are slightly larger, and their bigger frames carry more fat and muscle.
Average Weight Of A Female Cat
The average female house cat weighs between 8-12 pounds (3.6-5.4 kg). A female’s weight may fluctuate much more than that of a male’s, especially if she is not spayed. As females get pregnant, they will, and should, gain weight. A pregnant cat will gain between two and four pounds (0.91 and 1.81 kg) during pregnancy, 40% of which is lost during her kittens’ delivery. She will lose the rest of her excess weight during the laborious feeding of her young.
Heaviest Cat Breed
There are many large cat breeds in the world, like the Savannah, which can reach onto countertops when standing on their hind legs. However, it is the Maine Coon that takes the top spot for the heaviest cat breed.
Maine Coons are a popular breed of a house cat often referred to as “dog-like.” This reference is not because of their size but because of their attitude. Maine Coons are very affectionate and loyal and playful, too. They might try and curl up on your lap for a cuddle, but you’ll likely want them to sit beside you instead.
This large breed of feline can weigh between 11-25 pounds (4.99-11.34 kg), depending on age, gender, and breeder specifications. While they take four years to reach full growth, they gain about two pounds each month during their kitten years.
Male Maine Coons can range from 15-25 pounds (6.8-11.34 kg) when fully grown. Females are usually between 11-20 pounds (4.99-9.07 kg).
Because of their thick fur and stocky figures, Maine Coons are at high risk of becoming obese, especially during kittenhood. While bigger breeds do need more food, it’s often less than people think it is. Be sure to consult your vet regularly if you have a Maine Coon, and discuss a healthy weight to try and keep your cat around.
Lightest Cat Breed
The Singapura is the tiniest domestic cat breed around. While the Munchkin cat may be shorter with its stubby legs, the Singapura is the lightest feline. The female Singapura usually weighs 4 pounds (1.8 kg), and the male averages 6 pounds (2.7 kg). This adorable breed has short hair and is naturally playful. They are less likely to become obese, as it is very clear when their small frame carries extra weight
What Is A Healthy Cat Weight?
It’s tempting to reduce all cats to the same standards—saying, for instance, that a healthy cat weight is around 10 pounds. Yet this isn’t an entirely effective way to determine health, owing to the fact that breed, age, and gender all play a factor. For instance, a 10-pound Maine Coon may be considered healthy (even petite for his breed!), while a 10-pound Bambino cat would be considered obese.
Instead, many veterinarians follow the Purina Body Condition Score (BCS), which basically boils down to using your eyes and your hands. The BCS describes three factors you’ll find in a cat with an ideal body condition:
- Ribs that can be felt but are not highly visible (in short-haired cats, at least), with a small layer of overlying fat.
- A clear waistline when viewed from above
- A visible tummy tuck, when viewed from the side.
Why Is A Healthy Cat Weight So Important?
Litter-Robot resident veterinarian Dr. Justine Lee sees a diabetic cat at least once a day in the ER. Why so often? Because there is a growing prevalence of insulin resistance secondary to obesity.
It’s so important to work toward a healthy cat weight because overweight cats are at increased risk of the following serious medical conditions:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Urinary problems
- Heart disease, and more
How Do I Get An Obese Or Overweight Cat Down To A Healthy Cat Weight?
Cut down on treats and avoid feeding them human foods altogether. Make sure your cat is on the correct diet for their life stage. If appropriate, a neutered or senior cat diet will provide better calorie control. If your cat is obese, speak to your vet or registered veterinary nurse about weight loss diets: these provide all the required proteins, vitamins and minerals while reducing calories. Remember, when changing any diet, introduce the new food gradually over the course of about a week.