Would you know if your kitty needed to slim down? Fat cats are so common that you might not even realize yours is on the portly side. But overweight and obese cats now outnumber those at a healthy weight, and vets are seeing more super-obese cats, too.
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.
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.
How Much Should My Cat Weigh?
It varies depending on the breed but for most domestic cats, you can take 10 pounds (4-4.5 kg) as an ideal weight. Certain larger breeds can weigh as much as 25 pounds (11 kg) and smaller breeds can weigh as little as 5 pounds (2.2 kg).
How To Spot An Overweight Cat?
There are tests you can do on your own to determine whether your cat is at an ideal weight. Firstly, do they look overweight? Does their belly sag in any way or are they visibly different in appearance to other cats? If this is hard to spot because you see your cat every day, ask your friends or family to see if they can notice a difference.
The Problem with “Average” Cat Weight
Resources listing an average weight or range may not take into consideration other factors that affect weight. Factors like breed, sex and spayed/neutered status could all have an impact.
For example, the weight range for a Siamese Cat is 8 to 15 pounds. Females typically weigh 8 to 12 pounds, however, while males can weigh 11 to 15. So, a 15-pound female Siamese would be overweight, whereas that size might be healthy for a male.
Those resources also don’t account for mixed breed cats. If your cat is a mix of two or more breeds, you may struggle to pinpoint an average weight or range for her. What then?
A Better Way to Determine Your Cat’s Ideal Weight
Although your veterinarian may have your cat step on the scale at her next appointment, they’ll use more than this number to assess her health. Veterinarians use a Body Condition System (BCS) to visually and physically assess whether your cat is too heavy or too thin
What If My Cat Is Overweight?
If your cat is overweight, consider switching to a weight management cat food to help her achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
We also recommend consulting with your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical causes for her weight gain.
You may also want to incorporate more activity into your cat’s day-to-day life. See our article on helping cats lose weight for more tips.
What If My Cat Is Underweight?
Obesity is a concern with many cat breeds, but it’s possible for some cats to be underweight. This may be especially true if you’ve recently adopted a cat or taken in a stray.
If your cat’s BCS indicates she’s too thin, “Your veterinarian may recommend increasing the amount of food you’re feeding or suggest a higher-calorie food to help her gain weight,” says Dr. Harris. “Once she’s reached a healthy weight, an adult maintenance formula can help her maintain it long-term.”
It’s tempting to give your underweight cat as many calories as possible, regardless of the source. You don’t want to go overboard with treats right now, though. These can lack essential nutrients your cat needs and cause her to gain too much fat.
Don’t overlook exercise and activities, either. These are important to help your cat build muscle, which will help her gain weight in a healthy manner.
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