Categories: diet

My cat is overweight. How much weight should she safely lose each week?

An estimated 40% of all cats in the USA are obese. Veterinarians recommend that weight loss programs should be carefully managed because rapid weight loss can lead to hepatic lipidosis. This is also known as feline fatty liver syndrome, one of the most common forms of liver disease in cats.

How fast should an obese cat lose weight?

Rate of weight loss

My reference books advise that an obese cat should be on a regime of diet and exercise losing about 1% of her body weight per week.

Rate in ounces and grams

Let’s say the average domestic cat weighs 10 pounds (160 ounces). In kilograms this is 4.535 (4,530 grams). One percent of 160 ounces is 1.6 ounces. This is the amount of weight an obese cat should lose per week, which is 45 grams in metric units.

How to measure cat’s weight!

It seems to me that if a cat owner wants to measure the weight of their cat precisely they need to obtain very accurate scales. This is probably obvious but the best way to do it would be to weigh yourself and your cat on the scales and then weigh yourself without your cat on the same scales. You then subtract the first figure from the second figure to obtain the weight of your cat.

Exercise

It’s advisable to chart your cat’s weight weekly. As mentioned, exercise is important which can take the form of playing with your cat more than usual. When an ideal weight is obtained and she looks fit and trim (able to feel individual ribs) you should feed your cat a high quality balanced food in the proper amount to maintain her new weight.

Book referred to: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook page 511.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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