Weighing a cat – this is how it works
Weighing your cat may be necessary for several reasons. In case of overweight or underweight, for example, the measure is necessary to show the progress of the food change and treatment.
When dosing medications, weight can also play a crucial role. Unfortunately, cats are rarely cooperative when it comes to holding still on a scale.
So when weighing your cat, you’ll need to get creative to get accurate results. Our tips will help you do just that.
In this article, you’ll learn how to properly weigh your cat – from kitten to adult Maine Coon. We’ll also show you why regular weight checks make sense and how to get accurate results.
Weighing a cat – reasons
Determining the exact weight of a cat can be useful for a number of reasons. These include:
To dose medications correctly
Documenting the success of a change in diet
Adjusting the amount of food
Are you unsure whether your cat has gained or lost weight lately?
Knowing the average weight can help you to notice changes early and to monitor the development.
This in turn is important for the detection of health problems and the appropriate treatment.
However, it is also important to remember that changes in weight are only a guide. A cat may well be heavier than the breed standard, slim and healthy.
Likewise, a cat with a supposed optimal weight may have too much fat tissue or be too thin.
Therefore, always consider several factors, such as activity, waist and muscling.
Weighing a cat – options
To get the most accurate results possible when weighing your cat, there are several options available to you.
Which one suits you depends not only on the available scales. The size and weight of your cat also play a decisive role.
Variant 1: Weighing a cat on a personal scale
Adult cats with a body weight of several kilograms can be weighed on a personal scale without any problems.
Unfortunately, your cat will probably not do you the favor to sit quietly on it, so that you can read the result in peace.
Therefore, take your cat in your arms, weigh yourself once with it and then once without it. The difference between the results is the weight of your cat. If you weigh 64.5 kilograms with your cat and 61 kilograms without it, the weight of the animal is 3.5 kilograms.
Variant 2: Weighing the cat on the kitchen scale
If you have a kitchen scale or a baby scale available, this is ideal for smaller, lighter cats and kittens.
With kitchen scales, however, the contact surface is very small. Therefore you have to help yourself with a trick.
First weigh a bowl that is big enough for your cat. Alternatively, you can also use a plate.
If your scale has a tare function, you can subtract the weight of the bowl from the device and get the correct result directly.
Otherwise you have to subtract the weight of the bowl or plate afterwards.
Now place your cat in the bowl and distract it with a toy or a treat. If he fidgets or tries to jump away, repeat the procedure. Otherwise the results are not reliable.
Variant 3: Weighing the cat in the box
An effective trick, which many cat owners do not use, is weighing in the cardboard box.
Cat lovers know the phenomenon – as soon as there is a cardboard box nearby, the four-legged friend will lie down in it, even if he barely fits in it.
For smaller cats you can use a shoebox, which you put on the scale as soon as your velvet paw has made himself comfortable in it.
For larger cats, a slightly larger box is recommended. However, this should fit easily on the scale and not protrude too much.
Subtract the weight of the box afterwards.
Variant 4: Weighing the cat at the vet
The scale at the vet is often located in the area of the registration and the waiting room.
This results in the problem that your cat is sitting in the transport box and you cannot easily take it out for weighing, especially when other animals are present.
Nevertheless, weigh your cat with the transport box upon arrival.
Once your animal is in the treatment room, you can weigh the box yourself or have it weighed. The weight will be subtracted to know your cat’s current body weight.
Our extra tip: Write down the weight of the transport box and stick it on the box itself. This way you can deduct it directly next time.
How to weigh kittens?
Weighing kittens on a bathroom scale will not give reliable results. You will need a kitchen scale or a letter scale, as they are much more accurate.
Again, use a bowl, plate, or cardboard box and distract your kitten briefly during weighing to keep him still.
How often should you weigh your cat?
If your cat has no health problems, weighing him once a month is sufficient. Make a note of the weight and the date.
In this way you will be able to detect changes early and understand them well. For example, many animals are lighter in summer than in winter and therefore have a perfectly normal and harmless annual fluctuation.
For growing kittens and cats with overweight or underweight you should weigh the animal once a week.
This is important so that you can adjust the amount of food and see if the weight is moving in the right direction.
Cat weighing made easy
Whether you use a trick or teach your cat to sit on the scale with a target stick and a lot of patience, checking weight is easy and important for noticing health changes early.
Always keep in mind that weight is only a guide. A cat can be heavy due to a lot of activity such as climbing and running, but very muscular.
Sudden weight loss and sunken flanks, on the other hand, are usually a cause for concern.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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