Cats don't vary in size as much as dogs do, however, there can be quite a difference between breeds of cat. Some are small and muscular, some are long and lean, some are large and solid.
The average sized adult cat would weigh in the region of 5kg (or 11 pounds). Females typically weigh less than males.
|Small/medium breeds||4 to 6 kg (8.8 to 13 pounds)|
|Large breeds||6-11 kg (13 to 24 pounds)|
How do I know if my cat is underweight or overweight?
The number on the scales can give you a general picture of your cat's weight, however as we have already noted, cats come in all shapes and sizes and therefore a better way to determine if your cat is overweight or underweight is to feel along the ribs. You should just be able to feel the ribs when you run your hands along your cat's sides. If you can see the ribs, your cat is underweight, if you can't feel the ribs at all, he is overweight. Either way, you should see a veterinarian to determine if there is a medical reason your cat is underweight or overweight.
Veterinarians usually routinely weigh cats during visits, it is a good idea to make a note of your cat's weight when he is fit and well so that you can use this number to determine any weight gain or weight loss in the future. Make a file for your cat where all of his veterinary papers are stored and keep a note of his "healthy" weight in there.
What causes a cat to lose weight?
- Hyperthyroidism - Usually the result of a benign tumour of the thyroid gland.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Kidney disorders such as acute or chronic kidney disease and glomerulonephritis
- Addison's disease - An endocrine disorder of the adrenal glands which results in a deficiency of corticosteroids being produced.
- Cancer - Many types of cancer can lead to weight loss and wasting in cats.
- Dental problems, making eating painful.
- Intestinal parasites such as roundworm, cryptosporidium, giardia. Weight loss can occur if the parasite is competing with the cat for nutrients (in the case of roundworms), or by causing vomiting and diarrhea in cats.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus - Viral infection, similar to HIV in humans.
Feline leukemia virus - FeLV is a viral infection caused by reovirus, which is in the same family as the feline immunodeficiency virus. It is an "oncovirus", meaning it can cause cancer. It also suppresses the immune system.
Pyometra - Infection of the uterus.
What causes a cat to gain weight?
How much should a cat eat?
There are several factors in determining how much your cat should eat. A kitten will eat more frequently but smaller meals. A pregnant or lactating cat will need to eat more than an adult cat. A young and active cat will consume more than a sedentary cat. Therefore there are no hard and fast rules.
I generally let my cats gauge how much food to feed them. They are given half a can of cat food twice a day, and biscuits to free feed on. Their weight is regularly monitored and adjusted if necessary.