People want to see a cat weight chart to assist them in checking whether their cat is the correct weight and if not to see if their cat is fat or obese, slender or plain thin and underweight.
It is not possible to produce a weight chart that contains actual weights, which is what I feel people ideally want. In fact it is probably a little dangerous to do so as it might mislead.
Domestic cat weight depends on the individual cat and if we are talking about a purebred cat there is the added complexity that cat breeds vary substantially in weight. Although it is fair to say that the large majority of purebred cats are similar in weight. Then we have the differences between male, female, sub-adult and adult cats. It is all too variable. To try and shoehorn all this natural variation into a neat cat weight chart is impossible and foolhardy.
The best way to check if a cat is the correct weight is to firstly use common sense. It is usually obvious if a cat is over or underweight. After all we can tell when a person is over or underweight. A cat is more likely to be overweight as cat obesity is a growing problem in western countries, particularly the United States. Overfeeding leads to obesity.
There is a nice test that can be employed to check for correct weight if confirmation is required. It is recommended by Drs Carlson and Giffin, authors of Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, Fully Revised and Updated. They confidently say1 that to determine “ideal weight in proportion to the cat’s height and bones” you should be able to feel a layer of subcutaneous fat over the ribs. This layer should be “thick enough to provide some padding”. But it should not be “too thick”. It should be possible to feel the individual ribs.
Although the good doctors say that the average cat weighs about eight pounds that figure might be a bit out of date! American cats may be getting bigger and not just in terms of weight. At 2nd Jan 2011, the results of a long standing poll on PoC shows these results:
Although the poll is on a page titled, “Largest Domestic Cat Breed” so people with large cats are likely to take part in the poll.
As well as the “rib test” mentioned, a visual check can also assist to confirm that your cat is the correct or ideal weight. Here is a picture of an average cat of average weight:
A cat weight chart won’t work but a combination of the tests on this page should guide a cat caretaker adequately.