Like us, fat runs in families. A cat’s body condition is influenced by what you feed but also by genetic factors. An indoor, urban lifestyle is not what cats were made for. It can be tedious and dull living in luxury so the most exciting event is feeding time. Deep down, most cat owners understand this. We know we aren’t providing our cats with the type of physical exercise they really want. While many owners of obese cats know they are living with unhealthy companions, some people don’t recognise when a cat is simply overweight. Use this guideline to assess your cat’s body condition.

Body Condition


  • Ribs showing, no fat cover
  • Severe abdominal tuck
  • Bones at base of tail obvious with nothing between skin and bone.
  • No fat palpable in the abdomen


  1. Ribs easily felt with minimal fat cover
  2. Waist very obvious behind ribs
  3. Bones at base of tail raised with only minimal tissue between skin and bone.
  4. Minimal abdominal fat


  • Ribs palpable through slight fat cover
  • Waist visible behind ribs
  • Bones at base of tail covered in a thin layer of fat
  • Minimal abdominal fat


  • Ribs not found easily because of moderate fat cover
  • Waist hardly discernible
  • Bones at base of tail covered by moderate fat
  • Moderate abdominal fat


  • Ribs disappeared under thick fat cover
  • No waist, distended abdomen
  • Bones at base of tail difficult to feel through fat
  • Extensive abdominal fat

Talking Feline Obesity

Keep a record of exactly what your cat eats, including all the titbits. This makes you more conscious of all the extras it receives. Cut out titbits but if this is not possible replace them with bits of dry kibbles. We can provide you with a diet formulated to help your cat lose weight. These are available as dry or wet foods and include Eukanuba Restricted Calorie Formula, Hill’s R/D, Hill’s W/D, Waltham Calorie Control, Purina Overweight Management. Ashley McManus will give you detailed instructions on exactly how many grams of food to provide each day. Reducing diets are available directly from the clinic or delivered to your home.

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