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Cat’s weight: how to measure it?

by Pets Sos

Your cat’s weight will change throughout its life, from its feisty young age to its life as a senior cat. Keeping track of his weight is key to making sure he’s doing well. In this article, we help you better understand why a cat’s weight is important and how to measure it. Also discover our tips for maintaining the ideal weight for your cat.

Thanks to their sweet and independent characters, cats are becoming more and more popular with the French. To offer the best living comfort to your cat, it must maintain physical activity and have a diet adapted to its lifestyle. These are two essential factors to guarantee good health and maintain an ideal weight.

The weight of your feline is a first element to monitor to check that it is doing well. Indeed, a cat that is too thin or overweight is not able to hunt, play or demonstrate agility. Be careful to follow his weight well throughout his life, because it can be the reflection of possible anomalies (overweight, anorexia, underlying pathologies)! Many ranges of food products are available on the market. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian so that he can identify the needs of your animal in order to find the most suitable food.

Why is it important to measure your cat’s weight?

By watching your cat every day, you will have had a hard time noticing its weight variations. Hence the importance of weighing it regularly as the extra pounds can quickly accumulate and become the cause of underlying health problems. Did you know that feline obesity is a pathology that affects around 10% of French cats? This increase is all the more worrying as obesity promotes osteoarticular diseases, reduced immunity, heart problems, and the development of diabetes in cats.

What should be the average weight of a kitten?

The weight of the kitten changes rapidly during its growth until it reaches its adult weight. It is even during his first year of life that his weight gain is the most important! That is why, feeding your young cat often needs to be modified and adjusted to meet essential protein, fat, carbohydrate and mineral needs.

  • His energy needs being high, consider dividing his meals: at least 3 meals a day until he is 6 months old, then at least 2 meals a day until the end of his growth.
  • You may notice that during this time it is a good idea to get your new kitten used to different types of food, tastes and textures. As cats get older, they find it harder to accept a new diet!
  • The weight of a kitten varies according to breed, age, activity, and sex. For a European kitten, we can estimate its weight between 2.5 and 3.5 kg at around 6 months against 3.5 to 4.5 kg at 12 months.
kitten weight chart

Weight chart of male kittens

These growth curves work in the same way as those used in humans. A kitten follows a “corridor” as it grows. If he comes out of it, he may develop problems such as joint or digestive disorders. These growth curves work in the same way as those used in humans. A kitten follows a “corridor” (between 2 curves drawn on the graph) during its growth. The percentile value is the percentage of cats whose weight falls in the area under this curve. It’s an interesting statistic, but it’s more important to make sure the kitten’s weight stays in the same lane as it grows. It does not matter if it is statistically heavier or lighter than its congeners.
Example : Cookie is a male cat: at 3 months (12 weeks), he weighs 1.2 kg. At 4 months (16 weeks), he weighs 1.4 kg. At 5 months (20 weeks), he weighs 2.1 kg. At 6 months (24 weeks), he weighs 2.5 kg. At 8 months (32 weeks), he weighs 3 kg. At 10 months (40 weeks), he weighs 3.2 kg. Finally at 1 year, he weighs 3.5 kg.

What should be the average weight of an adult cat?

Once its adult weight has been reached, your cat should have a relatively stable weight. For example, a fully grown cat should weigh between 4 and 5.5 kg. Please note that this value may vary depending on the race and sex of your companion. There are no ideal weight standards established by the LOOF (Official Book of Feline Origins). That’s why, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian to check if your cat’s current weight is suitable! Finally, changes in his lifestyle can impact his weight. For example, moving to an apartment is conducive to weight gain. Conversely, the arrival of another animal can trigger significant stress and cause your animal to lose weight.

What should be the average weight of a senior cat?

It is at 7 years old that your cat enters the category of seniors. He becomes less active which can lead to weight gain. Old age is also accompanied by a change in its metabolism: your cat will tend to lose muscle to the detriment of its fat mass. Other age-related pathologies may appear as
bone and joint problems, chronic kidney disease or diabetes. You can adapt its diet, by switching to a range for senior cats. In particular, foods are richer in protein and lower in phosphorus, thus limiting the onset of kidney problems.

Cat weight 2

We can recommend a simple and easy to perform test to assess your companion’s Body Condition Score (BCS). It is this test
your veterinarian uses to analyze your cat’s weight. This is a score out of 5, with 3/5 indicating an ideal weight. For this, you can take advantage of cuddling sessions to feel your cat on the ribs and back. You can also look at the shape of his abdomen.

Very Lean (1) Visible ribs on short-haired cats; no palpable fat;
abdomen strongly folded; Lumbar vertebrae and tip of the pelvis easily palpable.
Lean (2) Easily palpable ribs with minimal fat coverage;
lumbar vertebrae evident; size evident behind ribs; minimal abdominal fat.
Ideal weight (3) Well proportioned ; marked waist behind the ribs; ribs palpable with slight covering of fat;
minimal abdominal fat.
Overweight (4) Hardly palpable ribs with moderate fat coverage; indiscernible size;
obvious rounding of the abdomen; moderate abdominal fat
Obesity (5) Ribs not palpable under heavy fat cover;
large fat deposits on the lumbar region, face and limbs;
distended abdomen without waist; extensive layer of fat on the abdomen.
Legend : Cat body condition score

How to maintain an ideal weight in cats?

Here are 5 tips for maintaining your cat’s healthy weight:

  • First, the ideal is to weigh your cat every month to establish a follow-up. You can even draw a curve followed by weights, which can help you detect any anomalies. We can never repeat it enough, but an overweight cat has affected health and a reduced life expectancy!
  • Remember to anticipate changes by adapting your pet’s diet. For example, after sterilization, weight gain is common. This is why there are ranges of croquettes for sterilized cats, which are less energetic.
  • An overweight cat tends not to want to move anymore and exert itself. Thus, we advise you to stimulate it to increase the number of calories burned and redevelop its muscle mass.
  • Using new, simple toys (paper bags, toilet paper roll, crumpled up paper ball) can make all the difference. Interactive bowls (mazes, perforated balls, etc.) also make meals more fun and awaken their hunting instincts. Especially since your cat will take longer to eat, which accelerates his feeling of satiety.
  • Finally, you can place the bowls in height by changing their place regularly so that his meal becomes part of a treasure hunt!

Conversely, too much thinness is not better for your health and can also testify to the presence of underlying pathologies. You can offer other types of food if he never finishes his bowl. Cats particularly appreciate wet food (box, freshness sachet)!
Limit the your cat’s weight gain, it is above all to allow him to live in full health and respect his well-being. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian to adapt his ration according to his needs and your expectations without risking endangering his health.

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