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Ideal Cat Weight: Tips for Obese & Skinny Cat

To care for a furry little feline munchkin like an expert, you need to be particularly attentive to their emotional and physical well-being and treat them with empathy and care, and voila, you’ll be able to understand your furball better than anyone else, predict their behaviour, and even meaningfully train them to be your purr-fect furry friend! 

Understanding Your Cat

To care for a furry little feline munchkin like an expert, you need to be particularly attentive to their emotional and physical well-being and treat them with empathy and care, and voila, you’ll be able to understand your furball better than anyone else, predict their behaviour, and even meaningfully train them to be your purr-fect furry friend! 

One thing to know about cats is that they are generally resilient. The average healthy cat can enjoy a lifespan ranging between 15 to 18 years. However, cats are also known to have little to no resistance to certain health conditions. The most common and threatening ones are malnutrition and obesity. Therefore, as a cat parent, it is crucial to be aware of the ideal cat weight to make sure your kitty is able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without the health concerns that arise from malnutrition and obesity.

Cat Weight Chart

Cat Weight Chart

Too Thin





Weighs under 2.5 to 3 kg

Ribs and backbone can be prominently felt and is distinctly visible

Weighs under 4 kg

Ribs and backbone can be easily felt and is somewhat visible too

Weighs between 4 to 4.5 kgs

Ribs and backbone can be felt under the skin but is not visible

Weighs over 5kgs

Ribs and backbone can be felt with difficulty under a layer of fat

Weighs over 6 to 6.5 kgs

Ribs and backbone cannot be felt at all

Ideal Cat Weight

Although the normal cat weight can change depending on the age and breed of the cat, most cats are preferred to have a weight ranging up to 10 lbs (4-4.5kgs), while larger cat breeds, such as Maine Coons and Persian cats can have an ideal weight of 25 lbs (11kgs). 

Being underweight or overweight can have a significant impact on a cat’s lifestyle, as well as its longevity. Not having the ideal weight of a cat for its age and breed can harm your feline munchkin’s well-being by detrimentally impacting its immune system, making it more prone to diseases it wouldn’t otherwise be affected by.

Average Cat Weight

When it comes to furry felines, their normal weight is possibly one of the biggest factors to consider when it comes to their general health and well-being. The average cat weight keeps changing depending on their age and breed and it is important that you make sure your kitty has an ideal cat weight for its age and breed. You can easily find out if your fur kiddo is overweight or underweight by feeling its ribs under the skin. Ideally, the rib cage of cats can be felt under their fur and thin layer of skin and fat. Being able to feel the rib cage can prove to be difficult in obese cats, whereas they will be distinctly felt and prominently visible in a cat skinny.  

Fat Cat Weight

Unrestrained food consumption is undoubtedly the leading reason behind feline obesity, however, there are several other causal factors that might result in your feline buddy getting overweight or obese. Their immediate environment and the type of food cats consume play an active role in determining their weight. Cats are one of the most efficient predators, and in the wild, they often rely on their hunting skills to survive. This allows cats to stay in shape by burning excessive calories. Domestic cats, on the other hand, do not need to hunt their food, exposing them to a greater risk of feline obesity. Although cats are carnivores, high-caloric meat-based diets like beef and ham can also cause them to rapidly gain weight.

How to check if your cat is fat?

To be able to make sure that your cat is in shape or has grown overweight or obese, it is important to be aware of the possible symptoms that are associated with feline obesity.  Being able to read these symptoms can be extremely beneficial to timely determine if your cat requires professional veterinarian attention to help improve its weight, and avoid potential health risks. 

  • One of the most prominent symptoms of obesity in cats is showing signs of difficulty while climbing or jumping. Obese cats are unable to jump effortlessly to the high ground due to their higher body weight. 
  • They also show fewer bowel movements and are unable to relieve themselves as often as they should. 
  • Obese cats also lose their flexibility, which can restrict them from properly grooming themselves, especially around difficult spots, resulting in dirty, matted coats of fur. 
  • The loss of a visible waistline is also often associated with feline obesity.
  •  Lastly, performing the hand test to feel your kitty’s rib cage can help you determine if your kitty is overweight or obese. Cat obesity can make it difficult for cat parents to be able to feel the ribcage under a thick layer of fat.

How to make your cat lose weight?

Mentioned below are some of the most effective ways in which you can help your little munchkin get in shape by losing excess weight.

  • Feeding schedule

    Overeating in bigger portions and frequently eating are some of the most common causes of obesity in cats. Free feeding, or allowing your kitty to eat as much as they wish whenever they feel like has grown popular over the years, especially for cat parents who have to be away for a prolonged period. Convenient as it is, free feeding can encourage cats, who are unable to restrict themselves, to overeat. Instead, if you are looking to help your kitty in its journey of losing excess weight, determining an effective feeding schedule can go a long way. Working cat parents can opt for automatic food dispensers that can be scheduled to release cat food in controlled portions to prevent your furry munchkin from overeating.

  • Calorie-controlled diet

    High-caloric meals, such as cat treats, beef and ham are loved by felines. But such foods can also significantly contribute to health concerns like feline obesity. Cats are foodies who appreciate fancy meals and are often unable to restrain themselves from overeating when offered delicious, high-calorie foods. Hence, it is also crucial to offer calorie-controlled food to your feline buddy, cut down on cat treats and limit the consumption of ham and beef to special occasions.

  • Exercise and physical activity

    Exercise has been proven as one of the most efficient and accessible means of losing excess weight for almost all living beings, and is no different for our furry felines. In the wild, cats have to hunt down their prey for survival. As hunting takes a considerable effort, it burns excess calories and helps kitties stay fit. Since domestic cats do not hunt for their food, the lack of physical exercise can lead to feline obesity. But cats love to play, so you can use your playtime with your furry munchkin to increase their physical activity.

  • Professional help and medication

    Certain medications like Bupropion naltrexone, Orlistat, and Liraglutide have been noted for their efficiency in curing feline obesity. However, as potent as they are, such over-the-counter medications are only to be administered if they have been professionally recommended by a veterinarian consulting a kitten weight chart. Furthermore, taking your fur baby for regular check-ups from a veterinarian can also help in an early diagnosis of obesity and other health risks.

Right cat food for weight loss process

A weight-reduction plan for overweight cats is the safest and most effective way of getting cats to lose the additional poundage and return to the average cat weight. Generally, cats undergoing a weight-reduction plan should be offered calorie-controlled food. Commercially available wet and dry cat food, such as Whiskas contain all the vital nutrients that cats require but are calorie-controlled. Furthermore, the caloric content of commercial cat food is available on the label, allowing cat parents to know exactly what and how much they are feeding their furballs. 

While your precious feline friend is on a weight-reduction plan, it is also important to cut down its intake of cat treats, since cat treats have a rich caloric content and are meant for occasional use. Avoiding the use of meats like ham and beef which are rich in fats and fatty acids can also help cats lose weight. Follow kitten weight charts for reference. 

Skinny Cat

Much like overweight and obese cats, underweight and malnourished cats often face the risk of contracting feline diseases due to a weakened immune system. Although most furry felines have lean bodies to support their active lifestyle, they still require sufficient amounts of protein and fat to be able to stay healthy. Though the concept of ideal weight in feline furries differs depending on its breed and age, a cat can be considered underweight if it does not meet the ideal weight of a cat for its age and breed. Hence, it is important to regularly look out if your cat is healthy and has an adequate body mass for its age. 

The most common causes of thin cats are parasitic and bacterial diseases, stress and depression, which need to be treated before they cause your furry munchkin to lose too much weight.

How to check if your cat is underweight

Use the following ways to determine if your cat is underweight:

  • Usually, a visual inspection can tell you if your cat is underweight since it takes a considerable toll on a cat’s body. Firstly, take a look at your cat’s waistline. Cats generally have a narrowing space between their rib cage and hind quarters which is a visual indication of having a waistline. If the narrowing space appears too closely drawn to the skin, it can be a sign of malnutrition. 
  • Furthermore, the hand test can also help cat parents to determine if their fur baby has the ideal cat weight. Use your fingers to feel around the cat’s rib cage. Ideally, the ribcage in cats can be felt under their fur. But if the ribcage distinctly pokes out, it is a sign of malnutrition and being underweight in cats.
  •  The body condition score (BCS) can also help veterinarians conclude if a cat is healthy or underweight, or obese. Veterinarians often use BCS to grade cats on a scale of 1 to 9 depending on their appearance. Body condition scores higher than 6 means obesity while a score between 4 and 6 is considered ideal for cats. Body condition scores of 3 and lower can often indicate malnutrition and underweight cats.

How to make your cat gain weight

With these easy steps mentioned below, you can help your cat skinny gain weight. 

  • A mix of wet and dry cat food

    Although cats are often known for their unmatched love for food, they are picky eaters. Home-cooked food is one of the best options to look into if you are looking to help your cat put on some weight. However, not all cat parents are able to regularly cook for their munchkin, so Whiskas cat food is an easy alternative that ensures your feline buddy receives all essential nutrients and protein to help it gain weight. You can also try mixing the Whiskas wet and dry cat food together to make meal times more appetizing and to keep your kitty well-fed and hydrated. Available in several exotic flavours, Whiskas cat food can bring a delicious twist to your furry feline’s everyday meal.

  • Increase the number of meals

    Increasing their everyday calorie intake can prove to be beneficial if you’re trying to help your cat gain weight. Increasing the number of meals and their portions can be helpful if you are wondering how to fatten a cat. Cats are also great foodies who appreciate a little variation in their everyday meals, so introducing different types of flavoured food to their everyday diet can go a long way. You can also encourage your cat to eat more by keeping its food bowl in an accessible place and making sure it is refilled from time to time. Additionally, warming up home-cooked food before serving can help bring out the delicious flavours, making it more appetizing.

  • Try hand feeding

    Cats often lose weight when they are stressed and depressed, which causes them to turn down food even if they are hungry. In such cases, some additional warmth and affection can be just the thing your kitty needs to feel better and start eating once again. Hand feeding has been an effective measure that helps cat owners make sure their precious bundle of fur stays well fed, counter the potential causes of thin cats, and establish a deeper bond.

  • Weight gaining supplements

    Commercially available weight gain supplements can also help cats gain weight within a short time. However, these supplements can also lead to obesity, and must only be used as an emergency measure recommended by veterinarians when other ways of helping cats gain weight have failed to show results.

Right Cat Food for weight gain process

Foods with a high-calorie content can prove beneficial if you are trying to fatten up your furry munchkin. Since cats are carnivores, a meat-based diet is the best option that provides cats with all the necessary nutrients while helping them gain weight. Generally, the ideal diet for cats to gain weight must contain over 52% protein, 45% fat, and 2-3% carbohydrates, along with other nutrients. Meats such as bacon, ham and beef have high caloric content and are also rich in fats and fatty acids, which can be ideal for underweight cats. Commercially available cat treats and wet cat foods are also known for their high caloric value and can help cats gain weight. Weight-gaining supplements for felines are available as over-the-counter medications that can help cats to gain weight rapidly but must be used only if advised by veterinarians.

FAQs on Cat Weight

What is the normal weight for a cat?

The normal weight for a cat can vary depending on its age and breed. However, the normal weight for smaller cat breeds ranges between 4 to 4.5 kg, while the ideal cat weight for larger breeds is about 11 kg.

How much should a cat eat a day?

The everyday caloric intake of furry felines depends on their age, breed, and their health conditions. An average caloric intake of 250 calories is sufficient for cats with a weight of 4 to 5 kg and more for larger breeds.

What is low weight for a cat?

Adult cats with weights lower than 4 kg can be considered malnourished and underweight. Underweight cats have a visibly narrow frame and must be immediately treated to avoid the risks of health concerns like parasites, bacterial diseases, and so on.

Should cats be skinny?

Being lightweight helps cats to effortlessly jump to high grounds, and flexibly pass through difficult terrains. However, cats are not supposed to be too skinny which restricts them from having a normal lifestyle. Being malnourished can cause health problems too.

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