New Year’s Resolutions: Is your cat overweight?

So your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight.  Now what about your cat? Is he overweight? 

How do you know if your cat is overweight? To find out if your cat is overweight you need to determine your cat’s body condition score.  This will tell you if your cat is overweight and how much overweight he is.  








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This tool on Hill’s Science Diet website can help with determining your cat’s body score and what his target weight should be if you have determined your cat is overweight.

Next make an appointment with your vet to make sure that there is no underlying medical problem that may be causing the excess weight.  If all is well medically next is to determine a diet and exercise regime to lose those extra ounces or pounds.

If you have been free feeding your cat, in other words leaving a large amount of dry food out for him to eat, this will have to stop.  This is one reason for the obesity problem in cats.  Dry food is very high in calories and if your cat is older he’s not burning those calories.   Best to feed canned food and in several meals throughout the day (at least two meals).  Now how much food to serve your cat and are treats okay?

Do your research. Cats need 20 to 30 calories per pound a day.  So if your cat’s ideal weight is 10lbs then he should be eating between 200 and 300 calories per day.

Just an FYI:  Well we are carnivores, meaning we get our nutrition from meat.  So read the labels carefully and don’t fall for the Holistic foods.  These formulas probably have plant matter in them and we don’t digest plant matter very well.  The first ingredient should be the meat.

Okay so I weigh 12.8 lbs.  My caloric intake should be between 256 and 384.  Now how to figure the calories in my food.  Some manufactures list the calories on their website. Also the website Binky’s Page at has a list of common foods with the calories and other nutritional information.  Note I’ve noticed in my research that some information is incorrect. If the manufacturer does not have the calories on their website give them a call to get the information.

Here’s my daily food schedule and caloric intake.


1/3 can California Natural Chicken & Rice = 61 calories

6 pieces Science Diet Oral Care = 12 calories


1/3 can Evo Venison = 73 calories

6 pieces Science Diet Oral Care = 12 calories

Mid-afternoon Snack

6 pieces Beefeaters Freeze dried chicken breast = 12 calories


½ can Friskies patte (various flavors)=  78 to 94 calories

6 pieces Science Diet Oral Care = 12 calories

Total daily calories = 261 to 277

Since my high caloric intake is 384 then there is room for extra treats yeah!!!!

So check out the food you feed to your cat and determine how many calories your cat has per day and adjust accordingly so that your cat can start losing the weight.

Of course there maybe times that my Mum will give me some table scrapes, however remember what I eat from the table has to be accounted for my total calories.  If too much is added from the table I gain weight, not good.

Play equals Exercise

We should have at least 20 minutes a day of interactive play time, 10 in the morning and 10 in the evening.  Teasers are good toys for you and your cat to play with. Or even those lasers, same principle. We don’t like to play long. We are sprinters not marathon runners, therefore 10 minutes at a time is good for keeping us engaged in play time.  Another way to sneak some exercise in without your cat realizing it is if you have a two story house or a basement put the litter box either upstairs or downstairs.  That way he will get in a little cardio going up and down the stairs.  Another good exercise is to buy toys that you can put his treats in.  He can hunt for his snack.  This also would combat any boredom that your cat may be feeling.

Remember dry food is not good for your cat as the primary food source.  Just changing to canned food could be all your cat needs to lose those extra ounces or pounds.

Reminder when switching food, mix increasing amounts of your pet’s new food with decreasing amounts of the old food over a 7-day period.

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