I have a cat, domestic long hair, ragamuffin mix, male, 15 years old and in good health (bloodwork last month was stellar, and he doesn't act a day over 8), but I am concerned about his weight.

His weight has always been in the 13-14 lb range. He is a relatively large cat and also was a bit chunky on his underside. For years I fed him 4/3 cup dry food per day split morning and night.

In August 2014 he weighed in at 14.7 lbs and I decided to put him on a bit of a diet and started feeding him for a 12lb target weight, 1 cup per day split, Iams pro health senior dry food.

In August 2015 he was at 13.1 and much more active, so I changed nothing.

This month, August 2016 he was at a startling 10.1 lbs. He is as active as ever and like I said clean bill of health but I am slightly concerned. Vet does not seem concerned, and 10.1 lbs is normal for a Cat (TM) so it's hard to judge. I can't tell if this is bad, or if it is healthy, because I'm used to him being heavy.

Also it's hard to judge because I just shaved him, so he looks about half the size he usually does. Fwiw he does not look boney to me, at least, I can't see his ribs at all. He's got a bit of loose skin on his belly where his fat used to be.

For now, I have added 2.5 oz wet food in the morning to his normal daily 1 cup of dry food (his stool was slightly dry, although he was not constipated, that was his only issue).

One of my mistakes is I don't own a scale, I'm going to start monitoring monthly. But my questions are:

  • This seems sudden and was definitely unexpected, is it something I should be concerned about?
  • How do I determine what a healthy target weight is for my cat? I mean Google gives a range for the "average" weight of "a cat" but there's too much variation to just pick a number. How can I judge what a stable healthy weight for a given specific cat should be? How do I know when to increase / decrease food portions?

I realize this question may be all over the place, what I'm really asking about is how to figure out what weight is healthy for any cat, based on observations of their health and activity (I have another 2 year old too and I suspect I'm going to have to watch her weight as well some day).

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well obviously you have been taking good care of you cat as he is now a senior citizen (76 in human years) and in good health.

Cats' builds vary: Some are stockier and some are really lean. I have seen litter-mates that get the same food and live in the same environment have vastly different weights / builds.

Currently my adult cats range from 6 lbs to 17 lbs. the 6-pounder is missing a leg and comes from family of very small cats. The 17-pounder is lean, solid muscle and looks "cut" even.

There is no ideal weight for cats. There are multi-point tests you can look at to identify feline obesity such as: Link

Many vets don't advocate portion control and state always having food out for the cat is just fine. Some cats will over-eat and become obese. These cats need portion control and extra exercise. Since your cat is healthy and 76 years old I would say your portion control efforts certainly have not done any harm.

If your cat is active, eating, and otherwise healthy per your vet there is not a lot of cause for concern.

  • Thanks and great link. It was just surprising to me that he's lost 1/3 of his body weight over the past 2 years, at an increasing rate (1.6 lbs in a year, then 3.0 lbs the next year); but he did have a lot of fat on his belly before, so maybe he spent so many years being chunky that it's just surprising to me to see him with a trimmer form. – Jason C Sep 8 '16 at 14:45

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