The weight of your tabby cat is really important to monitor. Not only does their weight tell you the story of their health, but it’s something every cat owner should be aware of. There are of course some cats that always carry a bit of weight naturally. Since tabby cats are the most common household pet, we’ll focus on them in this article.
So, are tabby cats always fat? No, tabby cats are not always fat. The weight of a cat depends on their diet and the amount of daily exercise. Underlying health issues can also affect the weight of a cat. A healthy balance of food, exercise, and vet visits can help a cat balance it’s weight more efficiently.
While tabby cats are not always fat cats, it’s important to take care of your cat the right way. We’ll look at some strategies to help monitor the weight of your cat as well as which breeds are more prone to obesity. With the right nutritional plan in place and effort, it’s easy to keep your cat healthy.
Are Tabby Cats Prone To Obesity?
Because tabby cats are the most commonly seen in homes, it’s easy to associate them with being obese. However, tabby only refers to the coat pattern, so the rate of obesity applies more towards the particular breed of the cat.
Tabby cats are in fact no more prone to obesity than cats who share a different coat pattern. However, when referring to a domestic cat in general, obesity can actually be problematic. This is due in part to how much their owners feed them and poor regulation of their diet. Domestic cats that are also unable to exercise properly can put on some serious weight.
Below is a list of domestic cat breeds that are known for putting on weight more than others.
- Turkish Van
- American Shorthair
How Big Do Tabby Cats Get
Most domestic tabby cats weigh between 6 – 10 lbs. 10 pounds is considered the higher end of the scale while 6 pounds is associated with younger, smaller frame cats. Some domestic cats can get as big as 15 – 20 pounds depending on their specific breed.
What Causes Cats To Get Fat
A cat that is overweight is never a good sign. Cats with excessive weight can end up developing serious health problems. Too much weight can add additional pressure on their limbs and cause them to develop arthritis and other physical problems.
Sometimes it’s hard to determine what exactly causes a cat to get fat, especially if you do not monitor them all the time. Here are a couple of things that cause cats to get fat.
- Lack of exercise
- Allowing the cat to self-feed
- Alternating Diets And Treats
- Sickness & Lethargic
- Old Age
The good news is that most of the issues are easily fixable with the right change in your cats schedule and what they are fed. Some things such as depression and old age are a bit harder to fix. When it comes to sickness you’ll need a vet to help determine the cause and get them on medication to help reduce their weight. We’ll go into each of these areas in detail next and talk about strategies to help your cat lose weight.
How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight
While cats gaining too much weight and getting fat is pretty common, there are some strategies to deal with the issue. Let’s start off by discussing how exercise can help your cat.
Giving Your Cat Regular Exercise
When it comes to overweight tabby or domestic cats, lack of exercise is usually the culprit. Cats who do not have enough room to roam around and explore can never balance the output of energy with food intake. As a result, you might notice your cat developing a big belly.
A quick solution to keeping your cat in shape is to play with them for 15 to 20 minutes per day. This can include tossing around stuffed toys, using catnip, laser cat toys, and even running around the room. The physical activity does not need to be too intense, but consistent. Your cat can easily shed a few pounds each week by doing this.
Stop Your Cat From Free Feeding
The next thing you want to do to cut down your cats body fat is to reduce their self-feeding intake. Especially for busy owners who leave kibble out for their cats, they can easily eat too much if they get bored. If you plan to let your cat self-feed, be sure to measure out no more than a cup of food per day.
Planning out your cat’s meals is really helpful too. It’s usually a good idea to feed your cat wet food early in the morning. You can then provide a small amount of dry food for daily consumption, and then give them another wet meal at night.
Cats who do not have a proper feeding schedule will try to eat too fast, and continue to be hungry afterward. Naturally, it’s our instinct to feed them more, that can actually result in them gaining weight quickly.
Avoid Alternating Your Cats Diet
Cats bodies can react negatively to sudden or frequent changes in diet. It’s a wise idea to consult with your vet to find the proper diet for your cat. If your cat is suffering from obesity, there are actually foods on the market that address that issue specifically.
If your tabby or domestic cat is overweight, here are a few cat foods formulated for weight control.
- Hills Science Diet Light Adult Cat Food
- Iams Proactive Health
- Purina ONE Smart Blend
- Purina Pro Plan
- Royal Canin Appetite Control
While food treats are great for training your domestic cat, it’s not a replacement for real nutritious meals. Cats that eat too many treats can weight much faster than those who do not.
Sickness and Depression
Cats that become lethargic or depressed are known to pick up a good amount of weight. Once a cat becomes lazy it’s really easy for them to add on a few pounds. Always keep things interesting with your cat. One idea is to change the setup of the home around frequently.
Cats enjoy finding new ways to explore things. Cat condos are also a great idea. Many of them give them a place to climb and some even have scratching posts.
Sometimes when a cat is really lethargic, it’s due to sickness. A vet can take a look at your cat and provide medication to help get them back to feeling well again. Sickness can also be caused by a lack of quality food, playtime, and exposure to tough conditions.
Old age is inevitable for all cats, no just tabby cats. As a cat ages past their prime, they begin to move slower and lack the same energy they once had. Naturally, your cat will start to gain wait due to being less active. In old age, cats can suffer from all kinds of issues.
Arthritis can cause pain in their paws which leads to less playtime. Also, cats may end up needing a much more enhanced diet to provide them the nutrition they need to stay energetic in their later years.
Is My Cat Overweight? A Helpful Chart
Determining if your cat is overweight can be quite tricky. Some cats are easy to judge with just your eyes. Others might need a weight scale and full assessment by a vet to figure it out. If you’ve got a few resources available like a weight scale, you can figure out if your cat is overweight or not.
Here’s a helpful weight chart to help you determine if your cat is overweight. It shows the average weight of cats based on their breed. Generally speaking, if your cat is 10 – 15 percent above the weights listed on this chart, they are considered obese.
|Cat Breed||Average Weight|
|Domestic Cat (Tabby)||6 – 10 lbs|
|Persian||6 – 12 lbs|
|Siamese||5 – 18 lbs|
|Birman||7 – 12 lbs|
It’s important to remember that the average weight of a cat depends on many factors. Each breed is unique, and a lot of it depends on your cat specifically. The cat’s frame also determines how much body weight they can comfortably handle. Average cat weight also depends on the gender of the cat, whether they are male or female. To get the best advice about your cat and whether they need to go on a diet you should ask your vet.
Below are a few helpful ways to check your cat to see if they are overweight
- Feel the cat and see if there is a layer of fat over their ribs
- Check to see if the abdomen feels swollen or round
- Look for jiggling as the cat moves around the room
- Note if the cat seems exhausted after a short play session