When it comes to kitties, shape, size, and color can vary greatly. But what’s the average weight of a cat, and how do you know if your cat is overweight or not?
The average cat weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kg). However, this depends on breed, age, and gender. For example, a female Singapura weighs about 4 pounds (1.8 kg), while a male Maine Coon can weigh 25 pounds (11.3 kg). Female cats tend to weigh about 2-3 pounds more than males.
Read on to learn more about the average cat weight and details on the heaviest and lightest cat breeds. We’ll also discuss how to recognize and treat both underweight and overweight kitties.
Average Weight of a Male Cat
The average male cat weighs between 11-15 pounds (5-6.8 kg). On average, across all cat breeds, they weigh 2-3 pounds (0.91-1.36 kg) heavier than female cats. This is because males are slightly larger, and their bigger frames carry more fat and muscle.
Average Weight of a Female Cat
The average female house cat weighs between 8-12 pounds (3.6-5.4 kg). A female’s weight may fluctuate much more than that of a male’s, especially if she is not spayed. As females get pregnant, they will, and should, gain weight. A pregnant cat will gain between two and four pounds (0.91 and 1.81 kg) during pregnancy, 40% of which is lost during her kittens’ delivery. She will lose the rest of her excess weight during the laborious feeding of her young.
Heaviest Cat Breed
There are many large cat breeds in the world, like the Savannah, which can reach onto countertops when standing on their hind legs. However, it is the Maine Coon that takes the top spot for the heaviest cat breed.
Maine Coons are a popular breed of a house cat often referred to as “dog-like.” This reference is not because of their size but because of their attitude. Maine Coons are very affectionate and loyal and playful, too. They might try and curl up on your lap for a cuddle, but you’ll likely want them to sit beside you instead.
This large breed of feline can weigh between 11-25 pounds (4.99-11.34 kg), depending on age, gender, and breeder specifications. While they take four years to reach full growth, they gain about two pounds each month during their kitten years.
Male Maine Coons can range from 15-25 pounds (6.8-11.34 kg) when fully grown. Females are usually between 11-20 pounds (4.99-9.07 kg).
Because of their thick fur and stocky figures, Maine Coons are at high risk of becoming obese, especially during kittenhood. While bigger breeds do need more food, it’s often less than people think it is. Be sure to consult your vet regularly if you have a Maine Coon, and discuss a healthy weight to try and keep your cat around.
Lightest Cat Breed
The Singapura is the tiniest domestic cat breed around. While the Munchkin cat may be shorter with its stubby legs, the Singapura is the lightest feline. The female Singapura usually weighs 4 pounds (1.8 kg), and the male averages 6 pounds (2.7 kg). This adorable breed has short hair and is naturally playful. They are less likely to become obese, as it is very clear when their small frame carries extra weight.
What Is a Healthy Weight for Your Cat
To determine the healthiest weight for your cat specifically, you need to consult with your vet. They will consider your cat’s age, gender, and activity levels and let you know a 1-2 pounds (0.45-0.9 kg) weight range that you should attempt to keep your cat between.
Newly adopted cats can be under or overweight, and you should make an appointment with a vet as soon as you adopt them. This way, your clinic will have a record of your pet’s weight, and they will be able to better guide you through your feline’s life.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Fat
Obesity is extremely common in North American house cats. As many as 50% of felines are above their ideal weight. While having an ideal range in mind and monitoring your cat’s weight is the best way to keep an eye on their health, there are physical cues to look for as well.
When you look at your cat from directly above–a bird’s eye view–you should be able to see a slight dip at your cat’s waist. If there is no dip, then your cat is carrying too much belly fat.
When viewed from the side, you should also see a healthy upward curve from your cat’s chest to their belly. If this curve is not present, your cat is overweight. When you pet your cat, you should be able to feel their ribs, not lose them below a layer of fat.
How To Get Your Cat To Lose Weight
If you think your furry friend is overweight, don’t feel bad. There are many things you can do to help them shake off a few extra pounds.
The most effective thing is to cut back on their portions. You are likely over-feeding your cat because he has convinced you he is starving 24/7. If you’re free-feeding your cat, then you should consider specific meal times and measured amounts of food instead.
Talk to your vet about the amount your cat should be eating and the brand of food you’re using. Treats should also be kept to a minimum and should not make up more than 10% of their caloric intake for the day.
You can also increase your cat’s activity levels by playing with them more throughout the day. While it’s true that cats sleep a lot, they still need mental and physical stimulation when they’re awake. Fifteen to twenty minutes of playtime 2-3 times a day will help your cat burn off some of the extra calories he’s been holding.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Too Skinny
Adversely, your cat might be underweight. This lightness is often a symbol of illness or disease, so a cat that is too skinny is just as much of a worry as a cat that is overweight. The visual cues for the too-thin cat are the opposite of a too-fat cat.
When looking at your pet from a birds-eye-view, the dip at the waist should be slight and not severe. Same with the upward curve from the chest to the belly. If your feline’s belly is pulled up near her spine and you can feel (or see!) her ribs jutting through her sides, then your kitty could be too skinny.
How To Get Your Cat To Gain Weight
Getting cats to gain weight seems like it should be simple; just feed them more! While this would work in theory, the issue with many underweight cats is that they don’t have large appetites. If this describes your pet, you may need to try switching their food to something they find more appetizing. Mixing in some wet food with their dry food or even stirring in half a can of tuna will encourage them to eat.
You can also healthily increase their caloric intake by adding fish oil to their dry food. Vital Pet Life Salmon Oil is chock-full of omega-three fatty acids, which reap many health benefits. Your cat’s coat will be shinier, his skin will be softer, and his joints and immune system have greater support, too. Felines also love the taste of fish oil, and your kitty won’t even know you’re adding extra calories to their diet.
Cats can weigh anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds (2.27 to 11.34 kg) and still be considered healthy. The number on the scale is not the end-all-be-all of your cat’s health. What is more important is their particular frame and the way they carry the weight. You need to learn the healthy curves in a cat’s figure and recognize when your pet may need to go on a diet or eat a little more.