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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 ...

Yes, chubby kitties are cute, but they're probably not very healthy

OK, if we're being totally honest here, we totally love a fat cat. They're fluffy, adorable and usually have just the right amount of sass. What's not to love? The health problems, that's what. Unfortunately, a couple of extra pounds on a tiny animal like a cat can be a serious danger to their health — and considering that the average domestic cat should weigh no more than 10 pounds, a lot of our kitties should be hitting the treadmill, ASAP.

If your cat falls within the 59 percent of cats that are overweight or obese, here's what you can do to get their health back on track.

Face the facts

It may look cute when a kitty is chubby, but the health outlook for a fat cat is actually quite dismal. 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 want to keep your cat around as long as possible — and extra weight on their frame isn't going to do them any favors.

But how do you know if your cat is overweight?

More: Why Are Cats So Obsessed With Boxes?

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 because they are so small, a couple of extra pounds on an animal like a cat is much different than a few extra pounds on you. 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?

Originally published February 2013. Updated July 2017.

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