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What's a healthy weight for cats? The numbers probably aren't what you think

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

These quick guidelines will tell you if your kitty is overweight

Just like people, it's normal for pets to gain weight over time, especially as we start to get comfortable in our relationship. You may not even notice that there's a little more of your cat to love, until your vet points out the problem. Unfortunately, extra weight on a small animal like a cat can pose a serious risk, considering that the average domestic cat should weigh no more than 10 pounds.

If your kitty falls within the 58 percent of cats that are overweight or obese, increasing risk for a number of diseases and health problems, here's what you can do to get their health back on track:

Face the facts

Your little tubby buddy may be cute, but all that extra weight is unhealthy for him. Just like humans, extra weight puts cats at risk for many serious health problems. Diabetes mellitus, arthritis, heart and respiratory disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, skin problems, some forms of cancer and a shorter life span are just some of the risk factors that come with feline obesity. You love your cat and you want to keep him around as long as possible, so it's time to help him get healthy. But how do you know if your cat is overweight?

More: Why you should never let your feline be an outdoor cat

So what's a healthy weight?

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, the following weight ranges are appropriate for healthy cats. Keep in mind that a couple of extra pounds on a small animal like a cat is much different than a few extra pounds on you. With an animal as small as a cat, even a couple of pounds of extra weight can make a big difference in its overall health. If you are concerned, it is always best to check with your veterinarian.

  • Domestic cat: 8-10 lbs
  • Persian: 7-12 lbs
  • Siamese: 5-10 lbs
  • Maine coon: 10-25 lbs

Next Up: How does your cat measure up?

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