I’m worried my kitten is too fat – What should I do?

When we think of kittens, we tend to think about cute, little bundles of fur.

And yet it is certainly not uncommon to see the odd overweight kitten.

In those formative months, kittens’ bodies are growing and developing at a rapid rate and will continue to do so until they reach adulthood at around the one-year mark.

During this period there can be a tendency for pet parents to overfeed their new family member, mainly because of that diminutive stature leading to fears they’re too lean.

If they end up eating more calories than they’re burning though, it won’t be long before they’re on the path to obesity.

What weight should my kitten be?

Finding and maintaining your kitten’s ideal weight is vital if they’re to go on and enjoy a happy and healthy life.

That figure can vary significantly depending on the breed, so we would always recommend carrying out specific research relating to your cat or speaking to a vet if you’re unsure what weight they should be.

As a general rule of thumb, the below guide is a good place to start:

  • 0-1 week 50-100g
  • 1-2 weeks 150-250g
  • 2-3 weeks 250-350g
  • 3-4 weeks 350-450g
  • 4-5 weeks 450-550g
  • 5-8 weeks 550-850g
  • 8-12 weeks 850-1.8kg
  • 12-16 weeks8-2.5kg
  • 5 months7kg
  • 7 months 3kg
  • 10-12 months 3.5-4.5kg

Is it easy for a kitten to lose weight?

If you’re worried your once slimline kitten is starting to look a little on the chubby side, don’t panic.

There are plenty of things you can do to get them back in shape and fighting fit.

First of all, begin monitoring their calorie intake, weighing out food portions each time.

The right nutrition is key to the health and development of kittens, so make sure you’re feeding them a diet packed full of goodness.

It’s easy to get carried away dishing out the treats when you welcome a new kitten into your home, especially if you’re using positive reinforcement to improve/reward behaviour. Snacks should be healthy, made with natural ingredients, and only make up 10% of your kitten’s daily caloric intake.

The two biggest causes of cat obesity are overfeeding and a lack of exercise. Schedule daily play sessions with your kitten (or even teach them tricks!). The more active their lifestyle in those first few months, the more natural a part of their routine it will be as they grow older.

Should I seek veterinary advice for an overweight kitten?

Taking care of our cats is a constant pet parent priority, but even more so in those early weeks and months.

As they begin to explore your home, and eventually the world around them, it is vital we offer them comfort, warmth, and security.

Too much comfort though – at least in terms of eating – isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Kittens should not be overweight. They’re young, full of energy, and have lightning-fast metabolisms, so if you’ve noticed they’re carrying a bit more weight than what’s considered healthy, changes need to be made.

We’ve already mentioned a few of the things you can do to try and help them trim that waistline, but if the ‘eat less, move more’ approach isn’t paying dividends then it may be time for professional assistance.

Whenever you have any concerns over your cat’s weight, diet or eating habits, we would always recommend consulting a vet.

What happens if I don’t reduce the weight of my kitten?

Feline obesity is a growing problem around the world, with more and more pet parents being forced to ask themselves the question, “Is my cat fat?”

If the answer to that question for you is, “Yes” then it’s imperative you act.

Excess weight is linked to a whole range of health issues including diabetes, arthritis, urinary tract infections, and heart disease.

Allowing your kitten to put on weight, and then not attempting to remedy the situation, means you are setting them up for years of potential pain and discomfort. Not to mention a mountain of medical bills.

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