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Is your cat overweight? Signs & Symptoms

Cats, especially older ones with slower metabolisms or indoor lifestyles, commonly experience weight gain. Our veterinarians at Kennesaw identify several signs indicating your cat's overweight condition and offer steps you can take to address it.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight

Struggling to Jump

  • A cat's body is perfectly designed for jumping. If it takes multiple tries for your cat to jump up onto their favorite piece of furniture, or if your cat gives up altogether, their weight could be the issue.

Check for Your Cat's Waistline

  • While your cat is standing, look down at them from directly above. Try spotting a slight indent just above your cat's hips where their waist should be (this can be tricky with long-haired cats). If you can't see their waist or if their sides are bulging, your kitty is probably carrying excess weight.

Feel for Your Cat's Ribs

  • If your feline friend is at the correct weight, you should be able to feel their ribs by running your hand along their chest. If you can't feel your cat's ribs, your cat may be overweight. 

Use The Overweight Cat Chart

  • Look over the overweight cat chart below to better understand your cat's weight category and whether your cat may be carrying an extra pound or two.

Overweight cat chart, Kennesaw Vet

How can I help my cat lose weight?

If your vet determines that your cat is overweight, they will prescribe an exercise routine and diet to facilitate their journey to a healthier weight. Here are some actions you can take to aid your cat in shedding those extra pounds:

Regular Exercise

Cats can maintain their health with relatively little exercise, but the necessary amount varies based on the cat's age and breed. Generally, aim for two fifteen-minute sessions of interactive play per day, which should involve activities such as chasing and leaping after a toy.

Additionally, you might want to think about getting an indoor cat tree to offer more opportunities for jumping and climbing.

Diet & Feeding

You can assist your pet in gradually shedding excess weight by providing them with nutritious cat food designed for weight control. Your vet may suggest a specialized therapeutic weight-loss diet if your cat is significantly overweight. Make sure to introduce the new cat food slowly to help your cat adjust to the change.


Bring your cat to the vet to be weighed on a regular basis. This will let the vet know if further dietary adjustments or testing are needed.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you suspect your cat is overweight? Contact our Kennesaw vets to schedule an assessment at North Cobb Animal Hospital.

New Patients Welcome

North Cobb Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Kennesaw companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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