What is the Ideal Weight for My Cat?

Figuring out a healthy cat weight for your pet is fairly easy to do. If you think your cat is under or over weight, it probably is. The ideal weight for an average cat is between 7 and 11 pounds, depending on a variety of things such as the breed of the cat, the sex and the bone structure. If you think there may be a problem with your cats weight, the best thing to do is have it checked by a qualified Vet to make sure it isn’t over or under weight due to a health issue that needs to be addressed.

Breeds of Cats:

The Maine Coon breed is among one of the heavier breeds of cats. They are larger then average and therefore weigh more, without being counted as overweight. A typical male Maine Coon cat can weigh 16 or 17 pounds and still be considered a healthy, normal weight. Many long haired cats may appear to be much heavier then they actually are due their heavy coats. Besides the Maine Coon cat, another large sized breed is the Savannah. Besides being quite large in size, these cats are known to behave almost like dogs. They are extremely smart and can be taught to fetch and walk on a leash easily. They were originally bred from a wild African Serval and a Siamese cat.

On the flip side are the tiniest breeds of cats which include the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex, the Singapura and the Russian Blue. Of these breeds, the Singapura is normally the smallest.The average weight for this breed is approximately five pounds for a full grown female and six pounds for a healthy male.

What Causes a Cat to be Over or Under Weight?

A wide variety of problems can cause a cat to be underweight. These include conditions such as tapeworm infestations. Luckily this can be treated fairly quickly by a trip to the Vet and proper de-worming medications. Other types of parasites can also cause a cat to be underweight, as can certain illnesses and disease’s.

A cat that is overweight may be simply taking in too many calories and not getting enough exercise, or may be suffering from an ailment such as diabetes, which will cause weight gain. Heart and kidney problems can also cause a cat to appear overweight, when in reality their bodies may be holding extra fluids due to a diseased organ.

Males are on average, a pound or more heavier then females of the same breed. Age can also play a role on the weight of the animal. Older cats that get less exercise may be slightly heavier then younger cats that are very active.

Does Spaying and/or Neutering a Cat Cause it to Become Overweight?

Male cats, whether neutered or not, tend to weigh slightly more then females, but it is a myth that a cat will always gain weight after being spayed or neutered. Many Vets state that neutered or spayed cats will eat somewhat more then an unaltered cat, so that may be why people tend to think that spaying and/or neutering causes the weight gain.

How to Tell if Your Cat is at a Healthy Weight.

You can easily tell if your pet is at a healthy cat weight by checking the cats rib area. Gently move your hands along the sides of your cat. You should be able to tell the ribs are there, but they should not feel prominent. If so, the cat is probably underweight and should be seen by the Vet. If the cat is obese you will not be able to feel the ribs at all. It is usually easier to tell an overweight cat from an underweight cat. Not only can you visually see the extra layers of fat, but the cats tummy may wobble when it walks, and the heads of an obese cat usually look small compared to their bodies. If you cat has had a sudden weight gain it would be best to visit the Vet so health issues can be ruled out which may be causing the unnatural weight gain.


Having your cat at a healthy weight is always best. Obesity or being underweight can both cause health problems that are best avoided. The Veterinarian can suggest special foods or diets for cats that are suffering from either weight issue.