Wednesday, September 24, 2008
What Should My Cat Weigh?
How much should a cat weigh? It all depends on the cat. Most cats are between 7 to 10 pounds, but larger breeds can weigh more. Daisy, my Maine Coon mix, is a healthy 12 pounds. My little girl, Baby, weighs only 8.5 pounds, but Simon is 13 pounds. She is not underweight, and he is not overweight. If they stand side by side, you can see that Simon's body is much longer than Baby's, and he is easily 2 inches taller at the shoulder.
A better way to determine a healthy weight for a cat is to look at her body shape. The cat should have a waist when you look at her from above. Run your hands along her sides; you should be able to feel the ribs with a small amount of covering fat. If you can see the ribs, the cat is too thin. If you can't feel the ribs, kitty is overweight. Her tummy should tuck up slightly, but I have seen some healthy cats with extra abdominal skin. I think it's a genetic thing. Here is a chart to help you evaluate your own cat.
If you think your cat is overweight, do not put her on a crash diet. Losing weight too fast can be dangerous. Find a good quality canned food, avoid "light" or low calorie dry food, and exercise her several times a day. Here then is another topic for another day.