Body Condition Tool for Cats

Playing with your cat is one of the most enjoyable things about owning one, and it’s very important for their health, from kittenhood right through to old age. Play encourages your cat to be active, keep supple and maintain a good body condition. Even better, playing is a great cat exercise that helps encourage them to express their natural hunting instincts.

Cat playing in grass

Healthy Cat Weight and Body Condition

We know it can be tricky to spot if your cat has put on a bit of weight. And while you might think ‘well, that’s just more of them to love’, from a health perspective size really does matter! That’s why our experts have created our Body Condition Tool to help you monitor changes in your cat’s shape, and help keep them healthy for years to come.

Ready to give it a go? Use the slider below to select your cat’s body shape and we’ll tell you how they measure up.

About our Body Condition Tool

When it comes to assessing your cat’s overall health, we know it’s important to look beyond the weighing scales. Take a long look at them from all angles – and don’t be afraid to get ‘hands on’. Feel how lean (or otherwise!) their body is. It’ll help you determine whether they’re in good shape.

Don’t worry if your cat fidgets at first – a little gentle perseverance, a couple of reassuring cuddles and maybe even a treat or two, and they’ll soon oblige.

Healthy weight, happy life

Helping your cat stay in shape isn’t so much about looks – it’s about keeping them happy, healthy and full of energy. But if your cat is packing a few extra pounds, it could have a knock-on effect on their exercise levels, and lead to serious health problems. For starters, overweight cats are more likely to suffer from:

  • Arthritis, joint damage and joint pain
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Reduced exercise endurance and stamina
  • Increased anaesthetic and surgical risks
  • Reduced liver function due to fatty liver, especially in cats

Fail to keep an eye on your cat’s weight, and you can expect to spend lots of time (and money) at the vets, and it may even reduce your cat’s healthy lifespan.

Example of body condition scoring

Not sure if you’re judging correctly? Your cat’s weight alone won’t tell you if they’re in ideal condition. Now it’s time to get ‘hands on’!

Owners can have very different ideas as to what constitutes a healthy weight. The simple truth: leaner is better. That said, every cat is different, and will have their own food and exercise needs. And depending on body shape and size, two cats could weigh the same, but one could be overweight, and the other could be under. It’s all down to their condition.

Take a look at the examples below and see how they measure up using our Body Condition Tool. As you’ll notice, it’s not just about weight – it’s about body size and shape.

PURINA® Body Condition Tool

Most families will, from time to time, feed their pets tidbits between meals – those imploring eyes are hard to resist! But this can make it hard to monitor how much your cat has eaten – you never know who else might have given them a sneaky treat.

So it’s hardly surprising that owners can feel confused about their pet’s weight. In fact, a PURINA® survey showed that 70% of owners only weigh their pets at the vet, with one-third believing their pet is overweight. And worryingly, two-thirds say they’ve never considered a light diet, or one tailored to their pet’s age, size, or lifestyle.

Need a helping hand?

Our experts are always happy to answer any questions you have about your pet’s weight and general wellbeing – just get in contact.

How to maintain a healthy weight

To keep your cat in good shape, it’s important to follow the feeding guidelines on the back of food packs. Make sure you adjust their portions accordingly. And always weigh your cat’s food – more often than not, guessing the quantity results in overfeeding!

Giving your cat the occasional treat is a great way to indulge (and even train) them without using table scraps. Just remember to be vigilant about any treats given – they all need to be factored into your cat’s daily allowance. Our getting the balance right article has more hints and tips on the subject.

Exercise and play are vital to keeping your pet (and you!) fit and healthy. It’s also a great way of spending time together, and strengthening your bond. For some helpful ideas on how to keep your cat healthy and active, take a look at our articles on exercising for health.

Related Articles

Cat licking face
Just like us, cats can put on a few extra pounds, especially as they get older and less active or if they spend every day indoors.
To help your cat stay as healthy and happy as possible, Purina recommends giving them a regular check to assess their body condition score. This...