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Could Your Cat Be – gasp! – Overweight?

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Jessie, the trim and svelte canine, here to address the issue of “fat cat” syndrome: Now that Bo, the mangy cat who lives around here, is in the kitchen looking for something to munch on, I can educate my faithful readers on how you can tell if your cat is fat.  Now, I am not implying that Bo is fat, but if he DID develop issues in that regard, I am well-prepared to take action.  According to the website,, veterinarians frequently use a special scoring system to evaluate the body condition of pets. (As for myself, I just have one:  Look at him: Is he fat or is he not?  These guys just have to make it a bit more complicated, so read on!) However, these are merely guidelines.  Sometimes, you just never know what’s hiding under all that fur!

Start with this approach.  Feel your cat’s ribs.  While there should be some fat over them, you should still be able to feel them.  If you can see them, your cat is too skinny.  If you cannot even find them, there’s a problem! Next, check the area near the base of the tail.  It should have a slight layering of fat.  If you can see any bones protruding, FEED HER! If you cannot see anything, your cat is overweight.

Next, feel the spine, shoulders, and hips.  Again, there should be a slight layer of fat covering these areas.  However, if you cannot feel anything, hide the nibbles!  If you can see the bones, your cat is too thin.

Check your cat from above.  She should have a defined waist behind the ribs. If the waist is too extreme, she is too thin.  If her hindquarters, however, are broader than the upper part of her body, she has weight issues.

Give her a once over from the side.  She should have a definite abdominal tuck, where the area behind the ribs is smaller in diameter than the chest.  If you don’t see an abdominal tuck, your cat is fat!

If you suspect your cat is overweight, consult your veterinarian for the proper course of action to get your pet back in shape!  After all….swimsuit season is right around the corner!


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