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Is my big boy kitten fat?
Annie_WebMD_Staff posted:
I wonder if my cat is overweight after looking at the Pet-to-Human Weight Translator tip post by Dr Ernie Ward. Charlie is my first boy kitten -- he turns one year old next week -- and he weighs 11 pounds. He's a big boy kitten though, and his feral mom was a big cat as well.

My other cats -- all dearly departed females -- were all purebreds including 2 Siamese and one Russian Blue.

My Russian Blue cat died last year at 12 years of age and she was never more than 5 pounds, she was always small and kitten sized her whole life. As she was a nearly 1 year old rescue that was missing her front teeth when we adopted her. We think she may have been a malnourished runt of the litter.

None of the girl cats were overeaters but my big boy cat Charlie likes to rip open his bag of dry food when his dry food bowl gets empty. But he's also big in size with big boy paws and he has a long body too. He has a big caboose on him when he sits down.

I joke that Charlie has a "beer gut" on him too! He does tend to sprawl when he's sleeping.

- Annie
Ernie Ward, DVM responded:
Sorry to break the news, but your kitty sounds a wee bit too big! If its' a typical domestic short, medium or long-haired cat, it should weigh between 8 to 10 pounds. To see if your cat is "big" versus "fat" try this: measure from the base of the tail to the front of the skull, just above the nose. This is your cat's length, similar to our height. Most domestic cats are 19-21" and should weigh between 8 to 10 pounds. If your cat is "big" (think Shaq), then it may weight more. There's a video on on the study page that demonstrates how to measure your cat's length.

The good news is if you recognize your pet's pudginess early, it's much easier to shed those excess pounds.

Good luck, Dr. Ernie
Annie_WebMD_Staff replied to Ernie Ward, DVM's response:
Hi Dr Ernie,

My daughter and I measured Charlie (I like to call him Mr Chuck) and he is 23.5 inches long from the base of his tail to just above his nose. Charlie is not quite "Shaq" big, but he's definitely a big boy. I had to buy him a new soft sided pet carrier as my old one he outgrew (it was my other cat's carrier). I also weighed him on the bathroom scale and he weighs 12 pounds.

I couldn't find the videoclip you mention though about how to measure a cat's length. We did use a soft fabric tape measure, the kind used for sewing clothes to measure him.

- Annie
shellgg replied to Annie_WebMD_Staff's response:
Hi Annie,
It is my opinion that 12 pounds is a good weight for a cat that large. I'm curious to see what Dr Ernie says about this.
Thanks for posting this.


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