Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is your cat fat or skinny?

Keeping fat to a minimum is crucial to expanding your cat's life span, so it is important to visually and physically examine your cat. A cat's normal, healthy weight will vary depending on the breed, gender, and spay or neuter status. So here are some guidelines to determine if your cat's weight is normal.
  • Feel the cat's ribs. Ideally, there should be easily felt but not visibly sticking out. The ribs should be covered with a layer of fat, but not to an extent that would make it difficult to feel them. If you can see the ribs, the cat is too thin. If you can not feel them at all, the cat is very overweight.
  • Feel other bony prominences on the pet's body such as the the base of the tail, spine, shoulders, and hips. Anything more than light fleshiness indicates that your pet is above normal weight.
  • Look at the cat from above. The shoulders should be more broad and noticeable than the waist. The hindquarters should be broader than the waist. If the waist is significantly larger or very well rounded in comparison with the shoulders and hindquarters, the cat is overweight.
  • Look at the cat from the side. If the belly of a cat protrudes, the cat may be overweight. The area behind the ribs should be smaller in diameter than the chest.

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