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How much should a cat weigh?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have no idea if my cat is the "appropriate" weight. He is pretty big - as in quite long, although not really broad through the chest. He was very thin about a year ago - because he was just getting used to his new home, and new family, and new food, he quit eating. We knew he was too thin - we could feel his bones with little padding.

We found kitten / growth formula food that he liked, and gave him that for about three months until he seemed to have filled out - and then took him back to the vet. He had gone from 9 pounds to 12, which is what the vet thought he should weigh.

Now I don't know how to tell what is overweight. How do you tell?
post #2 of 13
It sounds like you are concerned if he is overweight? Either way, it depends entirely upon the breed. If it is simply a domestic short hair "DSH" (mixed breed), then it depends on the cat's frame. I would ask the Vet! Cats are considered "adults" after one year of age. It seems your kitty was "full grown" when you took him to the vet and he weighed 12 pounds. Since the Vet said that's what he should weight, I assume anything much over that weight wouldn't be healthy for him. I'd simply call the Vet's office, and ask. If they think your adult kitty should weigh 12 pounds, at what point to you need to get worried about his being a "fat cat."

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I guess my question is a bit vague. He was an adult when we adopted him (5 years or so). When he was too thin, the vet said that she would guess he should be closer to 12 pounds than 9. Then when he had gained weight, all they said was "My - he's a big cat!". So I couldn't tell if he was too big, or just nice and healthy.

I really wondered if there is a way I could tell between vet visits - by the amount of padding on his frame - or if the appropriate weight is just a matter of an educated guess. I think he's fine, but people who see him comment on how big he is - which could just mean he's a properly large cat.

And he looks enormous compared to my sister's tiny 3 or pound 1 year old kitty.
post #4 of 13
it depends on breed. Here's a link to one guide I found
You need Adobe Acrobat to view it.
post #5 of 13
I remember reading once that a cat of a healthy weight should have a visible waist when you look at them from above. Also, you should be able to feel their ribs without having to really "push" to feel them.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot - these are very helpful answers!
post #7 of 13 will has an interactive weight check with some great pictures to help determine if a cat is overweight or just right.
post #8 of 13
The easiest way to tell if a cat is overweight is to run your hands down his sides. You should be able to feel the ribs, but not "count" them, if that makes sense. The ribs shouldn't protrude, but you shouldn't have to press to feel them either.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think he's a healthy weight. Because he has semi-long, really dense fur, it's hard to see his shape, but I can see some definition. He's certainly not "oval" shaped like some cats. I can feel his rib cage - or at least I can fee a little layer of fat over his rib cage, but still feel the definition of the ribs. On that web site, they talked about the tail base - is that the bone at the base of his spine, on his back? If so, there is no fat there - I can clearly feel the bones at the base of his spine. I think that he has a waist too, but I would describe him as a very low waisted kitty!

This is all very helpful - I want him to be healthy, but as a person who can never figure out how to maintain my own weight I'm always either gaining or losing, mostly the former), I can't for the life of me figure out how to control a cat's weight.
post #10 of 13
I find good quality food and lots of interactive play sessions keep my cats trim.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh yes - interactive play session.

Sam lies on the floor. I toss his little sponge ball - he reaches up in the air to hit it. The ball goes flying off somewhere in the apartment, or sometimes down the stairs. I chase the ball. Sam watches me. I throw the ball to him - he is still lying on his side in the same spot. Sometimes he has to roll over to the other side to reach the ball, and in really active sessions, he sometimes stretches his neck around to see where the ball went. His motto is "out of reach, out of mind".

I doubt that does a lot for his weight control, although I too need the exercise.
post #12 of 13
Sounds a lot like my Jorin.. He's about 6 months now, so still has kitten energy... he goes romp romp romp flop.. running at full bore then just flopping over wherever (usually in my way) and laying there for a while... or we'll be playing feather toy, and he'll roll over onto his side, and bat at the toy when it gets close but otherwise ignore it.
post #13 of 13

Russell plays fetch. First it was with those small mice that get hidden under the with anything you throw....provided he's in the mood.

Sammie5...if you want Sam to run a bit, try throwing a piece of dry food.....that way he has to excercise a bit for his food. Or you could try toys with catnip.
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