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Is Your Cat Overweight, Underweight or Just Right?

This article is part of a series on how to spot signs of a healthy cat. You can learn more about the key signs here.


Assessing your cat’s body condition is an important step in evaluating their overall nutritional well-being. Particularly in cases where your cat appears to be obese or thin, it is important to evaluate their total health before consulting a vet for a proper nutritional management program. Look for the following signs that your cat is overweight, underweight or just the right size.

 

thin cat i

underweight cat i

ideal weight cat i

overweight cat i

obese cat i

 

Thin Cat

  • Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones are easily visible
  • Thick neck and narrow waist
  • Obvious abdominal tuck
  • No fat in flank folds; folds are often absent

 Underweight Cat

  • Backbone and ribs can be easily seen or felt
  • Minimal fat covering
  • Minimal waist when viewed from above
  • Slightly tucked abdomen

Ideal-weight Cat

  • Ribs are easily felt, but not visible
  • A slight waist can be seen behind the ribs when viewed from above
  • Abdomen is tucked up and flank folds are present

 Overweight Cat

  • Slight increase in fat over ribs, but still easily felt
  • Abdomen is slightly rounded and flanks are concave
  • Flank folds hang down with moderate amount of fat — you might notice a jiggle when your cat is walking

 Obese Cat

  • Ribs and backbone aren’t easily felt under a heavy fat covering
  • Abdomen is rounded; waist is barely visible or absent
  • Prominent flank folds sway from side to side when your cat is walking

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