Is My Cat Underweight?

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The genotypes of cats result in many different body sizes. They range from long and lean to short and chubby. How can one know whether their cat is at their naturally healthy weight or underweight? Educating yourself on the types of cat bodies and telltale signs of weight loss will help you keep your furry friend in a healthy BMI range.

Types of cat body types

There are two general body types of cats. Domestic cats of a mixed breed fall in the broad categorization of Oriental-built or Cobby-built.


Cobby Build

Oriental Build

Long and slim
7-10 pounds
5-10 pounds
Domestic shorthair and Siamese
Short and stout

How to check a cat’s body weight

It is relatively easy to monitor a cat’s weight. All you have to do is pick up the cat and feel its body. One with low body fat will have a significant feel of bones. This method is slightly more complicated if the cat has an excessively furry body.

Begin by rubbing the cat’s ribs and spine while it’s in an upright position. The focus of the exercise should be on finding the following signs:

  • Bones that poke out in a sharp manner
  • Distinguishable ribs
  • Sharp hip bones
  • Narrow waist
  • Visible shoulder blades
  • Lack of fold lines on otherwise thick areas like the stomach
  • Thinning around the neck
  • A tucked-in stomach
  • Protruding shoulder blades
  • A waist that is more narrow than that of other cats in the household or neighborhood
  • A different shape than the usual hourglass

Causes of weight loss

Weight loss in feline animals is a common problem. This is especially true with older cats. The cat could lose excess weight even when they have a healthy appetite and seemingly normal behavior. Unexplained cases deserve the attention of a veterinarian. The medical community will attribute a low body weight to a couple of explainable conditions.

Reduced food

Weight loss is unavoidable when the kitty begins eating less than usual. One who gets a cat from a previous owner may change the feeding routine to include fewer meals or smaller portions. Other people may induce weight loss by underfeeding the cat for an extended period.

Consequentially, the cat will adopt a habit of eating less frequently and consuming small portions. Other causes of reduced feeding include the following:

  • A painful problem of the mouth, which could be a mouth ulcer or dental issue
  • Competition with other felines or pets in the household. A cat that has to survive among reformed strays will lose weight in the beginning days of adaptation.

  • A hidden physical injury can limit the cat’s access to the food bowl. A cat with a sprained ankle will forego at least one meal for the comfort of maintaining dormancy.
  • The growing disinterest in food will deter the cat from maintaining a proper feeding routine. They may find the brand or taste too dull or monotonous after an extended time. Finicky cats will go for days or weeks without a bite.
  • Stress and anxiety in the environment could reduce the cat’s appetite. The pressure may be a response to moving house or introducing a new pet.

Gastrointestinal tract problems

These illnesses prevent healthy digestion and absorption issues. Lack of proper absorption of nutrients will cause lead to the loss of healthy body weight. Examples of gastrointestinal in cats include:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Cancer
  • Pancreatitis

The disclaimer is that tapeworms do not cause weight loss.

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetic cats seem to be starving amid an abundant food supply. The voracious appetite is usually in a battle with improper processions and utilization of calories. The minimally absorbed nutrients do not stay in the body for the usual time; hence, the brain perceives the case as starvation.

Diabetes causes the cat to have a more-than-usual appetite for both food and water. You want to watch whether the cat has an irregular thirst, excess urination, and a queer desire for foods they would usually ignore.

Get the cat to a vet for blood tests and advice on the best treatment. Do not replicate a previous medication with the current condition or use another cat’s solution. This case is because diabetes has individualized conditions.


Cats develop hyperthyroidism when they produce the thyroid hormone in excess. While the conditions have a variety of symptoms, weight loss is a common and typical consequence. Hyperthyroidism amps the metabolism and causes an excess increase in calorie burning. The cat may eat more to make up for the excess utilization of energy.

Failing organs

Weight loss occurs when one of the organs has a dysfunctional process. Failure of the liver, kidney, or heart results in reduced appetite, which therefore causes fat and muscle loss. Some cats develop liver or kidney failure after extended use of certain medications, or consumption of street food by stray cats.


Certain types of tumors are malefic to the cat’s body. Cancer cells cause significant weight loss by robbing the body of nutrients.

Dental problems

Dental problems can affect cats of any age. The estimate indicates that cats above the age of three have a form of dental problem. These usually include the following:

  • Missing teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Plaque

Regular schedules of teeth cleaning can address dental issues before they mature into severe cases.

One can reduce a cat’s affinity to dental problems by brushing them every day or two days. Giving the cat dental chews will help reduce the chances of developing plaque.


Ringworms are treatable infections that can induce weight loss. They pull nutrients from the ingested food and the linings of the intestines.

Deworming is an ordinary course of solution for cats with a consistent parasite infestation. The parasites will usually disappear after the subsequent round of medications.

What is the importance of maintaining a cat’s weight?

Most people emphasize the dangers of excess weight gain. These usually include

  • Disorders of the joints
  • Diabetes
  • Short life span
  • Heart attack
  • Susceptibility to illness and injury

Lower-than-average body weight has almost the same degree of severity as obesity. The cat has more exposure to diseases because of reduced immunity. Watching out for reduced body fat also protects the cat from premature death, which could happen when the cat does not have adequate nutrient replenishment.

The procedural solution to increase your cat’s weight

Make an appointment with the vet

You should not attempt to fatten up the cat without consulting a medical professional. You may be creating a more significant problem out of another one, such as creating obesity while the cat has a diabetes problem. The shortest way of ending the cat’s life is by acting without the vet’s approval.

The vet can check the weight and overall health conditions. The gravity of the latter will determine the intensity of the treatments. The effectiveness of the advice will, however, depend on your adherence to the application. Keep a timetable in your calendar or mobile note app to maintain commitment.

Pay attention to the activities

You should never ignore two essential events:
  • The cat’s feeding routine – Do not feed the cat less than two times every day. This frequency maintains a proper diet plan while not overwhelming the digestive and metabolism systems.
  • The exercise routine of the day – Incorporate daily walks and runs if you want a straightforward method.

Playing is a fun way of tricking a lazy cat into accepting more movement in their life.

  • Additionally, place the bowl a bit higher or further than usual, such as on the tabletop.

Increase the intake of water

A cat does not have the same amount of awareness about water as us. We must refill the bowl after a drop. You can remind the cat to drink water by placing the container on its most frequented path in the house or the garden. Another form of serving water is preparing wet food. Make dishes with plenty of stew, and adjust the packed ones to include water.

Understand the cat’s feeding pattern

The vet’s advice

The vet will provide you with a standard feeding routine. Ask the vet for essential information that includes the following details:

  • The number of calories suitable for consumption
  • The best foods for each time of the day and night
  • Foods that can safely accelerate weight gain

Your cat may have a specific preference. Observe the cat’s reaction to increased calories and adjust accordingly. Some cats are okay with high-fat content, while others may continue their evasion of food.

The cat’s preference

It is safe to start by dividing the daily calorie quotient into three meals. Raise the portion each day and lessen the frequency of meals. Be sure to observe the cat’s pickiness and increase the foods that they prefer. The bottom line of the chosen meals is the following requirements:

  • High content of fat
  • High content of protein
  • Grain-free content

Brands that have the combination mentioned above will ease your preparation process.

Select the canned food

Canned foods are a significant consideration when you want to add more calories to your diet. The cat will be mesmerized by the smell and flavor and become fond fast. Canned livers, sardines, and ducks have an extra dose of protein and fat.

The amount supersedes those in canned soy products, wheat products, and corn. The latter list contains ingredients that do not accelerate weight gain, despite their tendency to induce fullness. The best-canned foods will follow these guidelines:

  • The high content of calories and fat
  • Formula for kittens
  • An ingredient mixture of as many animal quotients as possible
  • Limited amounts of plant-based products

Begin the inclusion of canned foods by slowly fading out of the traditional meal plan. Make changes that will not interfere with appetite, digestion, metabolism, or weight gain. The safest bet is a popular food choice, with great reviews from previous clients.

Royal Canin Recovery for Cats food

This is a product by Royal Canin, which has good reviews on its ingredient content and potency to increase the fat ratio. Former clients attest to the following makers’ claims.

  • The food has a high-fat content embedded in a high-density mixture. It reduces feeding volumes and is easy to eat because of its delicious smell and taste.
  • Royal Canin designs the food to have a smooth texture. The purpose of the texture is to allow feeding by a syringe or enteral feeding pipes. The setup makes it suitable to increase the pet’s appetite and feed sickly weak cats or kittens
  • The formula has a unique concentration of vitamins C, E, and taurine. These additions help with the reduction of oxidative stress

Ingredients of the food

  • Water
  • Chicken meat and liver
  • Cellulose
  • Casein
  • Fish oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dried eggs
  • Vitamin B supplements like B12, B6, B2, B1
  • Trace minerals like Zinc, Copper, Sodium, Calcium, and Manganese
  • Vitamin D3
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber

The benefits of Royal Canin’s food

Royal Canin has good reviews from both clients and vets. Some people buy it after a recommendation from their medical professional. You can give the food to a cat that has good health but is underweight, or to one that has the following health complications:

  • A problematic GI tract
  • Cancer
  • Kidney issues

The only disclaimer is that cats with other conditions may also find benefits from using the formula. Talk to a highly qualified vet before ordering the method and ascertain that the ingredients will blend with the cat’s health.

The price will prove to be considered reasonable after you receive the order fast and in good condition. Do not pay for pricier alternatives that have less good reviews on quality. All domestic pets have a similar reaction to food.

Royal Canin’s package will be useful if you have more than one variety of cat breeds or pets. You can save both time and money by purchasing the same product for your entire animal household. Visit the official Amazon store to get further guidelines on its purchasing and shipping process.

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