How do you know if your cat is overweight?  What is BCS?

How Do You Know If Your Cat Is Overweight? What Is Bcs?

Obesity is a disease that wreaks havoc on humans but also on pets. Moreover, it is now the leading cause of death in cats. How to explain the phenomenon? Like us, the cat has become a homebody and sedentary. In other words, he’s not moving enough. But how do you know if your cat is overweight? Here’s everything you need to know about the solutions available to you.

What Is The Normal Weight Of A Cat?

At birth, a kitten weighs an average of 100 grams. Its weight will increase rapidly during the first weeks of the animal’s life. Here is a table with the average of a cat at the different stages of its life.

Serial's ageCat's weight
12 weeks200 grams
23 months700 grams
36 months2 to 3 kg
49 months2.5 to 3.5 kg
512 months3 to 4 kg
62 years3.5 to 5 kg
710 years4 to 5.5 kg

Your cat will not stop growing until the age of 10. Then he will lose weight. The loss of muscle mass is responsible for this very gradual weight loss. Throughout its life, a cat’s weight is impacted by diet, physical activity and age. You should know that the weight of a cat also depends on its breed. Here are some landmarks (in alphabetical order).

  • Abyssinian: 2 to 4 kg
  • Burmese: 3 to 4.5 kg
  • Alley cats: 3 to 5 kg
  • Devon Rex: 3 to 5 kg
  • Maine Coon: 5 to 7 kg
  • Persian: 4 to 6 kg
  • Sacred Birman: 4 to 5 kg
  • Siamese: 3 to 5 kg

Veterinary Follow-Up To Monitor Your Cat’S Weight

The first reflex to have to ensure the good health of your cat is to have it followed by a veterinarian. This professional will take care of updating the cat’s vaccines, deworming it, sterilizing it, identifying it and providing it with the necessary care when it is sick or injured. During your visits, your veterinarian will weigh your cat. So he will know if your companion has gained weight or if he has lost it. Weight variations in cats are to be taken seriously. They can bring to light a physical or moral ill-being.

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Obesity In Cats

Obesity in cats is proven when the animal displays a weight 30 to 40% higher than its ideal weight. If overweight is 15 to 20% higher, we speak of overweight. You should know that it is not always necessary to weigh a cat to find that it is overweight. Obesity can be detected by touch. If when you feel your hairball you can’t feel its ribs or spine, you need to be concerned. This is also the case if your cat has a pear-shaped body.

The risk factors for obesity in cats are:

  • an unbalanced diet,
  • poor quality food,
  • overeating,
  • overconsumption of sweets,
  • a predisposition,
  • sterilization,
  • a lack of physical activity,
  • stress or depression.

The consequences of obesity in cats are numerous. In addition to being unsightly, being overweight affects the animal’s quality of life. He has difficulty moving, playing and climbing everywhere. In addition, the cat may experience joint pain. This is the case if he suffers from osteoarthritis. He is exposed to more diseases including:

  • diabetes,
  • urinary disorders,
  • cardiovascular disorders,
  • hepatic lipidosis,
  • high blood pressure
  • dystocia (difficulty giving birth),
  • skin disorders…

You should also know that obesity considerably reduces the life expectancy of the animal.

How Do You Know If Your Cat Is Too Big Without Weighing It?

The normal weight of a cat is between 2 and 5 kg. If you think your feline is overweight or obese, you should feel it. Start with the ribs. You must be able to count them. If not, your cat is overweight. Attention ! If you can’t feel the ribs, your cat is obese. It is also advisable to try to feel the spine. Once again, if you’re not feeling it, it’s time to put your pet on a diet. A cat with a belly may be overweight. To know it, it is enough to observe it and to auscultate it. The thorax and abdomen must be visible. If not, you have to worry.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Body Condition Index

The body condition index is commonly referred to as the BCS (Body Condition Score). It is a tool widely used by veterinarians to find out if a cat is overweight or suffering from obesity. You should know that most masters do not realize that their cat is gaining weight. It’s when the vet notices it that they become aware of it. To obtain your cat’s BCS, two steps must be followed.

  • Look at your cat from the side. You should see his ribs and belly. If your cat is overweight, the ribs are palpable but not visible. If he is obese, the ribs are not palpable.
  • Watch your cat from above. You need to be able to identify your cat’s waist size.

Based on your findings, a score is assigned. It should be 3. Below means your cat is too big and above means it is too big.

When To Worry?

As we have already said, it is rare for an owner to detect alone the overweight or obesity of his cat. However, it is important to identify the signs that indicate serious overweight.

  • Your cat moves slowly. He may also have difficulty moving around.
  • Your cat’s collar is too tight.
  • Your cat is no longer able to wash properly. On inaccessible areas, knots accumulate.
  • Your cat is out of breath. He plays less and less and he has little stamina.
  • Your cat sleeps a lot.

Of course, if your loved ones or your veterinarian tell you that your cat has put on weight, it probably is. You should do a health check and consider putting your cat on a diet.

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How To Make Your Cat Lose Weight?

Because your cat is overweight or suffers from obesity, you want to put it on a diet. Be aware that drastically reducing portions overnight is not recommended. It is best to find out about the best croquettes and to offer suitable quantities. Bet on quality croquettes. They must be rich in animal protein and low in cereals. The quantities should be reduced gradually. If your cat is gluttonous, do not hesitate to add cooked zucchini to his croquettes. To make your cat eat more slowly, you can also opt for an anti-glutton bowl.

Physical activity is also important for weight loss. This is why you need to encourage your cat to move. To achieve this, you can play with him, install a cat tree for him or even let him out in your garden. The more your cat is stimulated, the better it will be in its own skin.

Of course, you can count on the expertise of your veterinarian to support and advise you. Depending on the age of your cat and the weight it needs to lose, the methods to put in place are different. Follow-up is then essential to ensure that the diet is suitable.

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