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Why is maintaining a healthy weight for cats important?

Because obesity puts them at risk for health problems such as diabetes, arthritis/joint problems, and skin sores.

How much should a cat weigh?

Although most cats should be around 7-12 lbs (3-4.5 kg), the ideal weight for an individual cat depends on the size of the cat’s frame, so a body condition score is developed rather than to just rely on a cat’s weight.

Veterinarians often use a 9 point scoring system to evaluate the body condition of pets. A point value of 1 means the cat is extremely thin to the point of emaciation. A score of 9 means the pet is grossly overweight.

How can I perform the scoring test?

Start with feeling your cat's ribs. The ribs should be fairly easy to feel. There should be a slight amount of fat over them, but each rib should be distinct. If you can see the ribs, your pet is too thin. If you can not feel them at all, your pet is very overweight.

Second, check the area near the base of the tail. There should be a slight fat covering over this area and it should feel smooth. If the bones protrude, your pet is too thin; if you can not feel any bones at all, your pet is very overweight.

Third, feel other bony prominences on your cat's body such as the spine, shoulders, and hips. You should be able to feel a small amount of fat over these areas. If these bones are easily felt or visible, your cat is too thin. If you can not feel the bones beneath the layer of fat, your cat is overweight.

Fourth, look at your cat from above. The animal should have a definite waist behind the ribs. If the waist is extreme, or again, bony prominences are visible, your cat is too thin. If there is no waist, or worse yet, the area between the ribs and hips is wider than the hips or ribs, your cat is grossly overweight.

Fifth, look at your cat from the side. Cats should have an abdominal tuck, i.e., the area behind the ribs should be smaller in diameter than the chest. An animal who is too thin will have a very severe abdominal tuck. Overweight animals will have no abdominal tuck.



thin = 1


Thin = 3


Ideal = 5



weight = 7


Obese = 9

What are some foods that can help if my cat is overweight?

The goal is a low-calorie but healthy weight formula i.e to make sure your cat is still getting all the nutrition it needs.


A high protein, high nutrient food supplement for obese kitties. Can be found at Aleef, Zarafa or Advanced Pet Clinic.

Weight control foods can also be purchased from UBuy. These include:

Nature’s Variety Instinct Healthy Weight

Blue Buffalo BLUE Weight Control


And remember to see a veterinarian before starting a weight loss plan!

Because your veterinarian will determine your cat’s optimal weight.

Most common cat breeds prone to obesity:

The following list contains the breeds most predisposed to obesity and need a little extra care with nutritional intake:


10. Sphynx

This breed sits in the 10th rank in obesity liability. Since these cats have no fur to cover their skin they aren’t usually thought to be overweight. However, if a fixed diet isn’t established for these cats, they can gain weight quite quickly. To keep your Sphynx fit, an indoor kitty treadmill would be just the solution.


9. Birman

These cats have a low activity level and are couch potatoes. Therefor they need a diet plan and should avoid being over fed even if they are persistent and noisy about it.. And we all know how difficult it is to say no to our furry feline friends.


8. Ragamuffin

Known for being one of the calmest and most tolerant of breeds, especially with kids and other house pets, this same laid-back point of view can also lead to a tendency to grow a big belly. Therefor special care should be considered in these cat’s diet i.e healthy, low-calorie treats! Since these cats enjoy the company of their owners, they are perfect for leash training.


7. Exotic Shorthair

As you’ve noticed throughout this topic; the bigger the cat the more chances they have of being overweight compared to other breeds.

This breed is a big one, weighing at around 6-7kg (most of this weight is muscle however!), therefore they should have a meat focused diet.


6. American Shorthair

Inattention to diet can lead to weight gain for this large-sized breed but take comfort in knowing that the American Shortie is a natural born hunter (they have been guarding countless farms and homes from nasty rodents for hundreds of years). Hence, they can be easily tricked into a workout by keeping them busy with toys such as lasers and toy mice.


5. British Shorthair

A very easy breed to entertain. They will be encouraged by almost anything to jump, run and play. This naturally helps them keep fit and maintain their weight with a nutritional diet.


4. Colorprint Short hair

These cats are very social and outgoing but also enjoy a good quiet time to themselves to relax, but maintaining their weight gets more difficult as they grow older. They LOVE to eat. So treats should be limited to low-calorie, low carbohydrate varieties.


3. Manx

These cats aren’t considered typically large ones compared to the others – but they are quite built and stocky. So, they look a bit like squares due to their shortened spines and arthritis. So extra caution to their weight is important. It is preferred that the Manx is on a weight control diet from the time he is a kitten.


2. Peke-Faced

Closely related to the Persian, the Peke-Faced cat has many of the same characteristic tendencies, including a peaceful personality and a preference for lazing around. It also has the tendency to get fat. This is a normally plump breed in the best of health, so you will need to stick to a strict diet with healthy, no-carb treats, along with regular visits to the vet and regular play breaks through the day.


1. Persians

Why is this breed number one? Because it is the fattest? No, but because the Persian is one of the most popular domestic pets, and one of the most spoiled and babied, so this breed is frequently seen by vets for health problems related to weight gain. So, a scheduled mealtime is important for these cats as well as playtime. And do not give in to your cat’s demands for more treats!


What is the best approach to prevent cat obesity and how do we control it?

They key is all in the intake of calories and fat: this is the best method to help cats lose some weight. Also, a visit to your veterinarian to decide how many calories is most suitable for your cat is very, very important!

Steps that can also help is getting your feline friend to play and be more active. Introduction of new toys and a positive, stimulating environment is effective. this also can lower the stress level between the cats in the house (if there’s more than one).

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