How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant Or Just Fat
Aside from the signs given below, consulting a vet is the way to get a definite confirmation whether your cat is pregnant. Getting an ultrasound will determine the status of the pregnancy and the number of heartbeats after 40-45 days of gestation.
If your cat is not showing the signs given below, its probably just fat. You can check if your cat is overweight by running your hands along its side as if youre petting it. If you can feel its ribs using only slight pressure, your cat is likely at an ideal weight. If you have to press firmly in order to feel its ribs, then it may be overweight. If you cant feel its ribs at all, then your pet may actually be obese.
Is It All About The Food
According to Veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson, its all about that dry kibble. She believes three major factors are at play here.
She recommends switching to largely wet food diet for cats, since wet food is 80% water and typically contains meat-based protein. This makes sense in many ways, as cats are true carnivores. In addition, cats in their natural habitat of hunting small animals get most of their fluid from animals as well .
But if you have a cat struggling with weight, you may want to switch to a high quality wet food diet and feed your cat several times a day. Chances are your cat will love it. Youll find more great advice here.
The Body Condition Score How Do You Tell If Your Cat Is Fat
- assigns a number between 1-9 to your cat
- uses your cats profile
- uses how much fat covers the ribs
- uses how big is the fat pad on her belly
- a score of 1 is skeletal
- a score of 9 is very overweight
- a score of 5 is JUST RIGHT!
The BCS in 3 steps
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The Risks And Expenses Of Obesity
My final step to try and initiate action would be to highlight both the dangers and the expense of having an overweight cat.
This is a condition that impacts both cat and owner!
This strategy is going to be beneficial if your friend or family member recognizes that their pet is overweight but either doesnt actually care or doesnt feel its a problem thats important enough to be concerned with.
Highlight the dangers to their cat, and highlight the expense of having an overweight cat:
Obese cats are over four times more likely to suffer from diabetes.
Obese cats are twice as likely to suffer from skin disease.
Overweight cats are five times more likely to suffer from arthritis and lameness.
Overweight cats have an increased anesthetic risk.
Obese cats are at an increased risk of fatty liver disease, a fatal condition brought on by a few days of not eating.
Ultimately, being overweight or obese reduces both quality of life and life expectancy.
Many of these are also long term conditions that will need treatment for the rest of a cats life. Clearly then, cost can add up.
Financial impact is one thing. But what about the impact to your lifestyle if you need to medicate your cat once or twice a day? At the same time every day? The requirement to treat a cat can certainly impact an owners quality of life too!
Recognizing Signs Of Fertility
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What You Will See And Feel If Your Cat Is At A Healthy Weight:
- Ribs: When running your hands along your cat’s side, you can easily feel the ribs while also feeling a small amount of fat covering them.
- Base of Tail: When feeling the base of your cat’s tail, you notice a small layer of fat and it is smooth to the touch.
- Spine: When running your hands along your cat’s back you should be able to feel the spine and a small layer of muscle/fat covering it.
- Waist: When looking at your cat from above, you see a visible waist line just behind the ribs.
- Abdominal Tuck: When looking at your cat from the side, the area behind the ribs is visibly smaller than the chest.
What And How To Feed Obese Cats
If you feed dry food, your vet might recommend making a switch to canned food, which provides more protein and fewer carbs than kibbled diets, and may help your cat feel full longer. Canned food also provides extra fluid, something that is beneficial because cats tend not to drink as much water as they should.
Feeding scheduled meals, rather than free feeding or leaving food out at all times, is something that benefits all cats, not just overweight cats. Free feeding is convenient for us humans, but cats tend to snack all day and consume more calories than they need. They might also eat out of boredom when food is always available. Feeding scheduled meals also allows you to serve measured portions so you know your cat isnt consuming too many calories.
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What Kind Of Health Problems Can Obesity Cause
Similar to humans, obesity in cats can cause numerous serious health problems. One of the most common problems we see in obese cats is diabetes, which often has to be treated with daily insulin injections, the same as in humans. Constipation, liver problems, heart disease, breathing problems, hypertension, kidney disease, arthritis and skin and coat problems are all common health problems associated with obese and overweight cats. Overweight cats are also prone to skin infections because they simply are unable to groom themselves properly, particularly around the hindquarters.
First How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Obese
If your cats body weight is 20 percent or more than her ideal normal weight, she is considered obese. But how can you know if your cat is truly obese or just a big cat? It can be hard to tell, especially if your cat is very fluffy. Also, because so many pets are heavier than they should be, weve gotten used to seeing fat cats and thinking that theyre just normal-sized cats. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all cats in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
When in doubt, ask your veterinarian if your cat is overweight during her annual exam. Since your vet weighs your cat at every visit, its easy to look back in her records to see if she has gained weight over the years. Your vet can also do what is called body condition scoring to determine if she is overweight.
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Is My Cat Overweight
One method to tell if your cat is overweight is to feel along her rib cage. For a healthy cat, the padding shouldn’t feel any thicker than the padding over the back of your hand, says the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University. If you have to press firmly in order to feel her ribs, then she may be overweight. If you can’t feel her ribs at all, then your kitty may actually be obese.
Another way to tell is to use the 1-5 body condition score. Stand over and look down at your cat while she’s standing. If she’s a healthy weight, you should see a slight indentation over the hips that resembles a waist, although this might be hard to see if your kitty has long hair. If her sides bulge out instead, then your cat may be on the tubby side. If you try these methods and you’re still wondering, “Is my cat overweight?” then you should take her to see your veterinarian, who can weigh her and examine her overall body condition. Asking her doctor is the most reliable way to ascertain whether your cat needs to lose weight.
Is Your Cat Too Fat
No one wants to admit that their little fluffy has gotten, well, fluffy. Cats can gain weight, and as they get older, their metabolism tends to slow down. Approximately 60 percent of cats are overweight, according to the Associate for Pet Obesity Prevention, this is an alarmingly high number. This excess weight can create health problems like cat diabetes. Cat fat is especially important to keep under control, and its vital to take steps to prevent this fat from impacting their health.
According to VetNutrition, Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, most cats should weigh 7-12 pounds. While this can vary on the cats frame, Cummings does insist that it is better to use a body condition score than weight. They also say that indoor cats have a bigger chance of becoming overweight if they are less active.
According to PetMDand Dr. Sandra Mitchell, DVM, your cat can fall into these three categories:
Healthy, Underweight, and Overweight.
How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight
How Too Much Weight Affects Your Fat Cat
As much as we want a healthy cat, too much weight can have a significant mental impact on humans. This is also true of your cat. Unlike us, a cat wont look in the mirror, wishing they were thinner. One impact of too much weight in cats is a lack of grooming and play. This may lead to a urinary tract infection or other skin problems. Your cat may also suffer from a form of anxiety or depression.
- Cat diabetes
- Chronic inflammation
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Help Your Cat Lose Weight
If your cat is overweight, ask your vet for advice on an appropriate feeding regime to ensure they get enough nutrients, without being overfed.
Weighing food out daily is a helpful way to control portions. Some dry foods come with calibrated scoops, but these are easy to overfill.
If you like to give your cat treats, reduce the amount of normal food you provide.
Never starve overweight cats or put them on ‘crash diets’. Any period of time without food can potentially be dangerous. A slow, steady weight loss is ideal. It can take as much as a year for a severely overweight cat to reach its ideal weight.
It is hard to notice weight change in a cat you see every day, so regular weighing is a useful way to monitor progress. Your cat probably won’t sit still on your scales, so weigh a carrying box or yourself, then weigh the cat in the box or while holding it and subtract the excess to get your cat’s weight.
Some vet practices offer weight clinics, where they can regularly weigh your cat using their specialist scales.
Overweight Cat: Why Being A Fat Cat Isnt Always A Good Thing
I had a cat named Dylan a few years ago, and he was morbidly obese. He was a big, fat, white overweight cat with gray spots and he just loved food. Cat food, dog food, people food. Food from the trash. All of it. At the time I had nine cats , and it was nearly impossible to moderate his diet at all. He was the kind of fat cat that got clumped fur on his back because he couldnt groom himself properly.
Then one day he jumped from a dining room chair to the floor in a most un-cat like fashion and he broke his back. Literally broke his spine. Thankfully, he healed, and we worked in earnest to decrease his access to food so he could lose some weight. When he died of natural causes a few years later, he was merely overweight instead of obese thanks to efforts on our part to moderate his food intake.
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How Do I Know If My Cat Is Obese
The very first step in dealing with an overweight or obese cat is to recognize and acknowledge that there is a problem. Unfortunately, we are inundated with images in the media of cats that are consistently too heavy, which makes it challenging to understand what normal looks like. Your veterinarian and veterinary health care team can assist with an assessment.
Rib coverage is not only an important measurement to help you identify if your cat is overweight, but it is also easy for you to do at home, on your own. If you hold your hand palm down and feel your knuckles with the flats of the fingers on the opposite hand, this is how your cats ribs should feel just behind the shoulder blades. It is also a good method for measuring weight loss progress between formal weigh-ins.
“Rib coverage is not only an important measurement to help you identify if your cat is overweight, but its also easy for you to do at home, on your own.”
Your veterinary health care team will provide an estimated ideal body weight to use as a target, but it is important that they also do regular body condition assessments to ensure progress is being made toward normal body weight and body condition. Most veterinary practices use a body condition scoring system on a scale of either 1-5 or 1-9 .
Remember Your Vet Is Always Your Best Bet For Diagnosing An Obese Cat
With the variations that exist among all cats, the number of pounds are not always the best indicator of whether a particular cat is fat or not, but your vet can help out with this part.
We now have tools that factor in a cats age, breed and overall body size to see if they truly are overweight and what their ideal weight should be, Dr. Demarco explains.
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How To Do A Body Condition Score
If your cat is looking pretty podgy it might be worth putting them on a diet. Make sure you feed them the right food for their age wed always recommend a complete, commercial diet as this will make sure theyre getting all the nutrients they need. Remember to follow the instructions on the packet as this will tell you how much you should be feeding your cat. If youre unsure, chat to your vet or vet nurse wholl be able to give you specific advice. You can read more advice about obesity in cats on our Hub.
If your cat suddenly starts losing weight, or loses weight very quickly, take them to the vet. Sometimes medical problems can cause sudden weight loss so its best to get this checked out.
What Are The Risks With Obesity
Obesity shortens a cats life and makes them more likely to develop disease. Even being moderately overweight reduces a cats life expectancy. In cats, a 2.8-fold increase in mortality has been shown in obese cats compared to lean cats.
A large, lifetime study of Labrador Retrievers found that a moderately overweight group of dogs lived nearly two years less than their leaner counterparts. This is a sobering statistic as it was always accepted that heavy dogs lived a shorter time than lean dogs, but only by around 6-12 months. It is reasonable to expect we would see similar results in a study performed on overweight cats.
Previously, fat was considered to be relatively inactive tissue, simply storing excess energy calories and adding to body mass. Scientific evidence now reveals that fat tissue is biologically active. It secretes inflammatory hormones and creates oxidative stress on the bodys tissue, both of which contribute to many diseases. Thinking of obesity as a chronic, low-level inflammatory condition is a new approach.
“Excess fat negatively impacts a cats health and longevity.”
Obese cats develop an increased risk for:
- many types of cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and hypertension
- osteoarthritis and a faster degeneration of affected joints
- urinary bladder stones
- anesthetic complications as they are less heat tolerant
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