Anyone who has been rudely awakened by a plop on the chest in the early hours of the morning knows that even when our cats are the perfect weight, they make quite an impact. That thud on the floor when they hop off of the counter they aren’t supposed to be on can sound like they weigh a ton.
Believe it or not though, the average weight of a cat is 7-12 pounds. Of course it can vary a little to the higher end or lower depending on age, breed, and time of year. But even in Broward & Surrounding Counties the weight should stay around those numbers.
Sometimes we can feel that our cat is getting larger, when they are laying on us, flopping on us to make sure we’re awake. Then there are visual signs, the spread of their backside when they are at rest looks a little larger or them pushing the door open wider so that they can get through.
When a cat is spayed or neutered it’s often recommended that you begin cutting back their food by 20 - 30%, because they will tend to gain weight once they no longer have that same drive as before. They may become lethargic afterwards as well which decreases their activity and ability to lose those unwanted pounds.
Indoor cats in Broward & Surrounding Counties are also more susceptible to becoming overweight. If your cat doesn’t have a regular exercise outlet, and spends even their few waking hours lounging on your lap instead of chasing the laser pointer, that can increase their body mass index.
Always make sure to address your cat’s weight as soon as you notice a change. It’s easier for your cat to take off a little weight when they only have a little weight to take off in the first place. Cut their treats down, no matter how annoying they may become. You can also cut their food back a small amount.
You should always talk to us about your cat’s weight gain. It may only be a matter of them eating a little too much, or getting older and lazier, just like us. But there might be other concerns.
Being overweight can cause diabetes, skin conditions, and be a cause for feline cancers.Weight gain can also be a symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, which can lead to an enlarged liver in your cat. Be aware of how much your cat drinks and how much they urinate.
It’s important to talk to your vet to make sure that your cat is getting the right nutrition. While a lot of studies say that dry food is often a cause of an overweight cat due to the carbohydrates, just like with us, it really boils down to the calories and the amount of exercise.
Keep track of when, what, and how much your cat eats. Talk to your vet about what diet, if any, is required. Find ways to trick your cat into exercising. That one can be hard because they are stubborn creatures, but it’s worth having your cat around for years to come.
And after all, we are only here to serve them.