When is your cat too fat?

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Pets -

KNOW­ING when your pet is too tubby is like try­ing to gauge if a child’s weight is healthy. There’s size as well as shape to con­sider. Fur can be de­cep­tive, es­pe­cially if your pet has a long coat. Also, some cats are sim­ply nat­u­rally chub­bier than oth­ers.

For me, I find the eas­i­est way is to start by look­ing down on a cat from above when your pet is stand­ing up on all fours. The shape should be nat­u­rally sleek. If the belly is stick­ing out, then there’s too much fat around the tum.

Next, look at your pet from the back and then the front when he is sit­ting down. If you’re see­ing a mas­sive pear shaped butt, your pet’s prob­a­bly a lit­tle bit too plump.

Then, pet your cat thor­oughly, pay­ing par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the rib area. If you can’t feel ribs, there’s prob­a­bly too much pad­ding, if your cat has a short coat. If your cat has a long coat, it may be eas­ier to ex­plore the back legs.

Fi­nally, look at how ac­tive and ag­ile your kitty is. Cats do slow down when they’re older, so you may not have a pet bounc­ing about. How­ever, he or she should be able to chase a ball or wres­tle hap­pily and eas­ily with a furry friend.

Also, healthy sized cats should be able to jump up on the sofa and cof­fee ta­ble eas­ily. Most cats can also leap up on the din­ing room ta­ble and kitchen counter eas­ily - although el­derly cats may find that a lit­tle too high.

If you do find your pet is too fat, be gen­tle. In­side cats es­pe­cially may eat out of sheer bore­dom and ex-strays may have anx­ious at­ti­tudes to­wards food. So don’t be bru­tal about a diet as this can be per­ceived as pun­ish­ment by your cat. Play more, cud­dle more and grad­u­ally re­duce por­tions.

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