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.

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.

Cats are one of America’s favorite pets, but as more of them spend their lives indoors, they are also putting on more weight. Obesity can lead to several health problems, but most importantly, it shortens their lives. If you want to keep your pet healthy but aren’t sure how to tell if they are overweight, we are here to help. The average house cat should weigh 8-10 pounds (3.6-4.4 kg). But there are multiple factors that may change these values, so keep reading while we discuss how to determine the ideal weight for your cat and how to make adjustments so your cat can live a long healthy life.

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.

 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.

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).

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.

How Can I Weigh My Cat?

Well they’ll be weighed every time you visit the vets. So if you want to know their weight at the time of their last visit just give your vets surgery a call and one of the nurses will be able to look up your records. They should also have a weight history – so you’ll know if the cats getting heavier or lighter.

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.

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