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What is the Ideal Cat Weight? – Is My Cat Overweight & Underweight

Do you know if your cat is healthy or is slowly but steadily slipping into a form of obesity? Maintaining an ideal weight for cats could be tremendously difficult for a cat owner. But the problem is that we are only sometimes aware of what’s happening inside, dismissing a serious issue as merely chubbiness or skinniness. This article will discuss how heavy should my cat be? what is a healthy weight for a cat?, feline obesity, underweight problems, and its various adverse effects. It will help you clarify, address the issue, and help you understand what to do if your cat is overweight or underweight.

What is a Healthy Weight for a Cat? – Obesity in Cats

Feline obesity is something many owners worry about. The reason is that there is a correlation between obesity and diabetes, primarily. Fat cats are often subject to diabetes and mobility issues. Also, obesity in cats makes orthopedic problems and idiopathic hypertension much worse. As animals age, they are prone to developing arthritis, especially dogs. Another reason many people might not think about is infections. Fat infections are called steatitic or panniculitis. They are tough to deal with, especially with cats that go outside. They might be prone to getting into cat fights or getting injured. 

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Obese cats get infections in their subcutaneous fat. Under such a condition, they are subject to prolonged antibiotics and surgery. Moreover, being obese, a cat’s surgical risks are increased. Another risk factor with obese cats is hepatic lipidosis, which unfortunately leads to a liver shut down. It is a problem not unique to cats but more common in them than in any other species. 

Reasons for Obesity and Underweight in cats

 Here is a list of all the different health conditions and reasons for obesity and underweight in cats.

#1 Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism in cats is caused by a benign hormone-producing tumor on the thyroid gland that raises hormone levels. A cat may be prone to increased consumption of food, and drinking of water, with increased activities and micturition. Vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle wasting are other symptoms of hyperthyroidism in cats, eventually causing them to become underweight.

#2 Medication

A cat’s appetite changes with certain medications prescribed by the veterinarian. Due to loss of appetite, a cat will cease to consume or eat much lesser than usual, becoming thin and underweight. Similarly, increased appetite causes a cat to eat more than usual, that too in extraordinary amounts, making it overweight and, eventually, obese.

#3 Toothache

Painful teeth can make it hard to devour food, let alone chew. Symptoms of toothaches include drooling and pawing at the mouth. Other significant contributors to toothaches in cats are mouth ulcers or severe gingivitis. Consuming less means weight loss and underweight cats. 

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#4 Gastrointestinal problems (GI)

Some common GI problems such as diarrhea, food allergies, infections, inflammatory bowel disease, lack of appetite, and vomiting resulting in an underweight cat. The wide range and varieties of gastrointestinal problems can adversely affect your kitty’s weight.

#5 Diabetes

Cat diabetes happens when there is a failure in the production of the insulin hormone, or the cat’s body has an impaired ability to respond to it. A diabetic cat might also have urinary tract infections and sweetly scented breath. Because of excessive loss of appetite, the cat drinks water in inordinate quantities, urinating more than usual, often causing dehydration.

#6 Cancer

Cancer in cats is a relatively common disease, making them lethargic, lose their appetite very frequently, and ultimately have a severely dwindling weight. 

How Heavy Should My Cat Be?

If your are having this confusion how heavy should my cat be? here is the answer. The weight of a cat, like any other animal, varies with its breed. However, the average cat weight shall be at most 10 pounds. 4-4.5 kg is considered a healthy cat weight. However, while a giant breed can weigh as much as 25 pounds or 11 kg, a smaller cat breed may weigh as little as 5 pounds or 2.2 kg. Make sure to keep your cat hydrated for proper nutritional well-being and good health. 

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What to Do If your Cat is Overweight or Underweight?

Determining a cat’s weight is not as straightforward as it seems. What to do if your cat is overweight or underweight? Consult your veterinarian. Change your cat’s diet accordingly. If your cat is overweight, increase its daily activities. You may do so by playing games with your cat. Measure and weigh your cat regularly. Feed in the right amounts. While your cat may appear happy if it is overfed, it could pose a serious threat in the future too. Obesity in cats can most conveniently be recovered with the right diet, sufficient exercise, cat weight loss food and proper medication.

Adopting a cat or taking it in as a stray can sometimes result in an underweight cat. In that case, you are switching to a higher calorie cat food rich in proteins and fats. However, all of it needs to be done under the supervision of proper veterinary care. You may be required to feed your cat multiple servings per day to encourage weight gain and reach normal cat weight. 

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How to Tell if your Cat is overweight or Underweight?

If you are still not sure how to tell if your cat is overweight or underweight then here it is. A rounded abdomen characterizes an obese cat, and a scarcely visible waistline is often deemed almost absent. While walking, the prominent flank folds of an obese cat sway from side to side as the ribs and backbone of the cat continue to disappear under a cumbersome covering of fat layers. Determining an overweight cat is not that tough at all. Their abdomen is slightly rounded with concave flanks hanging with a fair amount of fat. The ribs have not disappeared; they can still be felt under a somewhat increased layer of fat. 

A thin cat has easily visible ribs, lumbar vertebrae, and pelvic bones. They have a thick neck with narrow waists with an apparent abdominal tuck. Their flank folds possess very little and, sometimes, absolutely no fat. On the other hand, an underweight cat has a slightly tucked abdomen with the smallest amount of fat covering. Underweight felines possess the tiniest waistline when viewed from above. Moreover, their ribs and backbone could be easily seen and felt. 


Optimal weight is significant for felines. It helps them keep healthy and avoid any possible problems that may arise due to diabetes or arthritis. Cats are beautiful creatures and ought to be kept happy and healthy. We hope this article has successfully provided thoughtful insight into your cats’ ideal weight.