Is Your Cat Overweight, Underweight or Just Right
Is Your Cat Overweight, Underweight or Just Right?

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Is Your Cat Overweight, Underweight or Just Right?

This article is part of a series on how to spot signs of a healthy cat. You can learn more about the key signs here.
 

Assessing your cat’s body condition is an important step in evaluating their overall nutritional well-being. Particularly in cases where your cat appears to be obese or thin, it is important to evaluate their total health before consulting a vet for a proper nutritional management program. Look for the following signs that your cat is overweight, underweight or just the right size.

 

thin cat i

underweight cat i

ideal weight cat i

overweight cat i

obese cat i

 

Thin Cat

  • Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones are easily visible
  • Thick neck and narrow waist
  • Obvious abdominal tuck
  • No fat in flank folds; folds are often absent

 

Underweight Cat

  • Backbone and ribs can be easily seen or felt
  • Minimal fat covering
  • Minimal waist when viewed from above
  • Slightly tucked abdomen

 

Ideal-weight Cat

  • Ribs are easily felt, but not visible
  • A slight waist can be seen behind the ribs when viewed from above
  • Abdomen is tucked up and flank folds are present

 

Overweight Cat

  • Slight increase in fat over ribs, but still easily felt
  • Abdomen is slightly rounded and flanks are concave
  • Flank folds hang down with moderate amount of fat — you might notice a jiggle when your cat is walking

 

Obese Cat

  • Ribs and backbone aren’t easily felt under a heavy fat covering
  • Abdomen is rounded; waist is barely visible or absent
  • Prominent flank folds sway from side to side when your cat is walking

 

What to Feed Your Cat Depending on Their Weight

If Your Cat Is Underweight

Consult your vet; they may recommend a specialized diet higher in protein and fat to help your underweight cat reach an optimal weight, and will also have advice on whether to free feed your cat or feed multiple servings per day to encourage weight gain. (If you opt to feed multiple servings, IAMS™ PERFECT PORTIONS™ are an ideal way to feed your cat throughout the day.)
 

If Your Cat Is a Healthy Weight

If your cat is currently at an optimal weight, then you likely won’t need to change how much and how often you are feeding them. Make sure you are providing your cat with nutrition tailored to their age and activity level by using our Cat Food Selector and giving your cat plenty of opportunities for exercise.
 

Tip: Making sure your cat is properly hydrated is essential to their overall health. In addition to providing fresh, clean water at all times, try feeding IAMS™ PERFECT PORTIONS™ Cuts in Gravy wet food to provide additional moisture in their diet.
 

If Your Cat Is Overweight or Obese

Try feeding IAMS™ Indoor Weight and Hairball Care dry food, formulated with real chicken as the first ingredient and L-carnitine to support a healthy metabolism. IAMS™ research has shown that overweight cats fed with L-carnitine exhibit increased motivation to play — which in turn can help support a healthy weight!

 

 

Cat Body Condition Chart

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    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

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    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

    Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.

     

     

    What Is a Product Code?

    A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.

    As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.

    The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.


    Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)

    Example: 040220 04FEB20

    Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ

    This product should be used before February 4, 2020.
     

    Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.

     

     

    What Is Shelf Life?

    Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

    The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.

     

     

    How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food

    Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

    Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.

    *IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
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    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
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