A Healthy Weight for Your Cat

two black cats
Are Basil and Bella a healthy weight?

Humans are advised to keep their weight within a certain range, but keeping a healthy weight level may be even more important for cats. A cat’s body is traditionally muscular but it’s adapted to be slender so that the cat can fit in and through small spaces and stay flexible. Adding weight onto a body not intended to carry it puts an unexpected burden on the cat’s organs and even immunity resulting in all sorts of negative consequences for heart, lung and kidney function, bone and joint function and even diabetes.

Cats don’t have too much trouble keeping an optimum weight when kittens and in early adulthood, but as they age, just like us, they tend to become less active and put on the weight. Like Basil and Bella, who in earlier years had at least one mad dash chase scene all over the house each day in their earlier years, they rarely do that now and have been adding on the padding as they reached eight years old. I don’t free feed but give them what worked out to be the best amount of food through their active years twice each day. Now I’ve been tracking their activity and reduced their food by the teaspoon until it seemed they were losing weight. That is, until Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette weren’t eating all their food for their respective conditions and Basil and Bella were on hand to finish it for them.

two black cats with cat food
Bella and Basil with FOOD!

So I have some more work to do in that area—because it is our responsibility as the humans who understand their health to make the changes to keep our pets in good health. Because of the nature of their traditional hunting and eating practices their instincts tell them, when they find food, eat it! So they do, and that’s where we humans come in handy to manage the amount of food available to them, so that when they follow their instincts they can still stay at a good weight.

pet healthy weight chart from the AVMA
Pet healthy weight chart from the AVMA.

This resource page on the AVMA website has clear explanations and information about the dangers of overweight conditions for cats and ways to help determine the type and amount of food that’s best for them, and the best way to feed them to keep their weight and nutrition where it needs to be. See Your Pet’s Healthy Weight on the AVMA website.

 


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Great Rescues Day Book

Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

2 thoughts on “A Healthy Weight for Your Cat

  • November 12, 2022 at 9:50 am
    Permalink

    Yes, we not only have ourselves to keep slim, but our companions too!!
    None of us like diets 😉

    Purrs, Julie and nancy

    Reply
    • November 16, 2022 at 4:18 am
      Permalink

      I’m not as active as I was because of all the time I spend making gift items, but I’m eating as if I am!

      Reply

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