HEALTH & CARE

How Much Should a Cat Weigh: The Ideal Bodyweight for Different Cat Breeds

weighing a cat
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

For cat parents, keeping their pets healthy is a big concern. And when it comes to a pet’s health, weight is a good indicator. If you’re asking how much should a cat weigh, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone help you find out the ideal weight for your pet without having to take a trip to the vet?

The weight of cats will depend on their age, sex, size, and breed. For instance, an adult male British Shorthair is considered healthy even if he/she weighs 20 pounds, but an Abyssinian cat would be obese at that weight. Knowing the ideal weight range for your pet will help prevent unnecessary worries about your pet’s health.

Weight is not the only indicator of whether your cat is healthy or not, so we’ll give you some tips on how to manually check if your pet is becoming fat. When you’re aware of the signs to watch out for, you can immediately take action to prevent your pet from developing obesity. If in case your pet is already obese, we’ll give you some tips on how to manage your cat’s diet so you can nurse your pet back to a healthy weight.

The Ideal Weight for Different Types of Cats

different types of cats

To find out how much should an adult cat weigh, we’ll first take a look at different breeds categorized by size and their corresponding ideal weight range. We’ll check out small to medium-sized cat breeds first; then we’ll move on to the large cat breeds.

We’ll also take a quick look at the ideal weight range for kittens so you can determine if your pet is growing at a healthy rate.

#1: Ideal Weight Range for Small to Medium-Sized Cat Breeds

BreedAverage Weight for MalesAverage Weight for FemalesDescription
American Curl8 to 12 lbs5 to 8 lbsAmerican Curl cats are known for the backward curl of their ears. These are well-muscled cats with smooth, silky coats.
Cornish Rex 8 to 10 lbs5 to 8 lbsCornish Rex cats are adorably cute with their short and fine coat. Most Cornish Rex cats are slim with long legs and tails.
Devon Rex8 to 10 lbs5 to 8 lbsDevon Rex cats are sometimes made fun of because of their large eyes and ears. But these slender cats are actually great companions.
German Rex 6 to 9 lbs5 to 8 lbsAlthough considered as medium-sized, these cats are very well-muscled. With their long and slender legs and rounded face, German Rex cats are quite attractive, especially if you consider the variety of their coat colors.
Javanese Cat 8 to 12 lbsup to 8 lbsAnother medium-sized muscular cat breed, Javanese cats can weigh up to 20 pounds with their long bodies, legs, and tails.
Munchkin 6 to 9 lbs5 to 8 lbsMunchkins are adorably cute with their short and stubby legs. With their high cheekbones, broad heads, and beautiful coat colors and patterns, Munchkins are truly attractive cats.
Oriental Shorthair 8 to 12 lbsup to 8 lbsOriental Shorthair cats have long bodies. With their almond-shaped eyes, long and slim legs, and large ears, Oriental Shorthairs are considered beautiful pets.
Scottish Fold 9 to 13 lbsup to 9 lbsThe most distinguishing feature of a Scottish Fold cat is its small but pretty folded ears. These cats have rounded face with short necks. Their legs can be short or medium.
Singapura 6 to 8 lbs4 to 6 lbsConsidered as the smallest domestic cat breed, Singapura cats weigh only around 4 pounds. Although they're quite small, they do have large eyes and big ears.
Sphynx cat8 to 12 lbs6 to 8 lbsAlthough not exactly hairless, Sphynx cats have very fine down, which is why many people think of them as hairless. These cats usually have broad chests, wedge-shaped heads, large eyes, and large ears.

There are many cat breeds that are considered small. For many of these cats, weighing six to eight pounds is quite normal and healthy. But there are also some small cats that are naturally muscular, so they will tend to weigh a bit more.

#2: Ideal Weight Range for Large Cat Breeds

orange maine coon lying

BreedAverage Weight for MalesAverage Weight for FemalesDescription
American Bobtail12 to 16 lbs7 to 11 lbsAmerican Bobtails are similar to American Shorthairs, except for the bobbed tails, which are usually around 4 inches long.
American Shorthair12 to 15 lbs8 to 12 lbsAmerican Shorthair cats have a less compact body when compared to their British counterparts, although the former usually have longer bodies than the latter.
British Shorthair15 to 22 lbs12 to 15 lbsBritish Shorthairs are solid cats with chunky bodies. These large cats have dense coats, and their faces are usually rounded.
Chausie10 to 22 lbs8 to 15 lbsIf you can't have a jungle cat, a Chausie would do. These large cats are tamer versions of wildcats, having been bred from a Felis Chaus and an Abyssinian or an Oriental Shorthair. They're lanky, muscular, and have the agility of a cheetah.
Maine Coon15 to 25 lbs10 to 15 lbsBurly, with huge paws and a thick coat, Maine Coon cats are at home in extremely cold places. They may look fat with their big bodies and dense coats, but Maine Coon cats are actually agile and are great hunters.
Norwegian Forest Cat15 to 20 lbs8 to 12 lbsNorwegian Forest Cats are perfectly built to adapt to cold climates. These large, fluffy, and powerful cats have unusually strong claws that enable them to climb trees easily. Burly, with almond-shaped eyes and triangular heads, Norwegian Forest cats can grow up to 20 lbs or even more.
Ragamuffin15 to 20 lbs10 to 15 lbsRagamuffin cats are huge but affectionate cats. They have medium long coats that don't become matted easily, which is one thing that distinguishes Ragamuffins from Ragdolls.
Ragdoll15 to over 20 lbsup to 15 lbsRagdoll cats are very similar to Ragamuffins, except that they have pointed coloration. Their eyes are oval, unlike the walnut-shaped eyes that are common in Ragamuffins.
Savannah12 to 25 lbs10 to 15 lbsThese huge cats have dense muscles which contribute to their heavy weights. Savannahs have long legs that enable them to jump high. With their energetic personalities, Savannah cats are considered athletic cats.
Siberian10 to 20 lbs8 to 12 lbsSiberian cats have appearances similar to that of Norwegian Forest cats. They're huge and fluffy, which makes them so cuddly. Their strong, agile bodies and their dense, furry coat make them extremely suited to the harsh Siberian weather.

Many large cat breeds take several years before they fully mature. But when they do, you can expect them to grow really heavy. These large cats can grow up to more than 20 pounds and still be considered healthy.

By the way, the current titleholder as the world’s longest cat is Ludo, a Maine Coon that’s almost 4 feet long and close to forty pounds!

#3: Ideal Weight Range for Kittens

gray kitten on blue coach

Not being sure if your kitten is growing well is always a source of worry, especially for first-time cat parents. Kittens normally grow very rapidly, especially during their first three months. They then continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace, until they’re a year old, by which time they’re no longer considered kittens.

If you’re wondering how much should a 1 year old cat weigh, the answer will vary, again depending on the breed and sex. Some will continue to grow until they’re a year and a half old, while breeds like the Maine Coon take about two years to reach maturity.

Here’s what to expect with your kitten’s growth development.

  • Weeks 1-4. Newborn kittens weigh only several ounces, but during their first month, they can show rapid growth. It’s easy for a kitten to grow from just 3 ounces to more than a pound.
  • Weeks 5-8. By week 5, the mother cat will usually start the weaning process already, so this is a good time to start shopping around for kitten food. This is also a great time to start training your kitten to socialize with humans. If you’re keeping track of your kitten’s weight progress, your pet can grow up to around two and a half pounds at this stage.
  • Weeks 9-12. In their third month, kittens can grow from less than 2 pounds to more than 3 pounds. By this time, you can already give them wet and dry kitten food.
  • Weeks 13-16. Kittens who are already in their fourth month can grow from just over 2 pounds to more than 5 pounds. This is the time when kittens test their own physical limits, so you might find their antics a bit trying. Moreover, some of them will start growing their adult teeth already, so watch out for chewing behaviors. Scent marking behaviors also usually begin at this stage.
  • After 16 weeks up to one year. You can think of your kitten as an adolescent now, and he/she will probably show the same adolescent behaviors like human teenagers do, such as being aloof and a bit rebellious. Weight gain will continue, however at a slower rate than during the first four months.

See Also: How to Care for Newborn Kittens

How to Manually Tell If Your Cat is Fat

very fat white cat

Cats, like humans, can become obese. If, in humans, two extra pounds don’t really matter much, in cats, it can mean the difference between healthy and obese.

For instance, if your cat’s ideal weight is 8 pounds but your pet is weighing 10 pounds, that’s already 25% more than the healthy weight. And it can lead to a lot of health problems for your pet later on, like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart diseases. Read on to find out more about visual clues that tell you your cat is getting fat.

  • Hourglass Figure. Have your cat stand on all fours and look at your pet from above. You should see a waistline, and the outline of your cat’s body should be like an hourglass. For long-haired cats, this may not be easily visible, so you might need to feel for it manually. If your cat’s waistline is starting to disappear, you should start thinking about having your pet go on a diet.
  • Abdominal Tuck. You will find a cat’s abdominal tuck in between the ribcage and the pelvis. In very thin cats, the abdominal tuck will be very pronounced, whereas, in overweight cats, it will only be slightly visible. If you don’t see an abdominal tuck at all, it could be a sign that your cat may be obese.
  • Ribs. In very thin cats, you won’t even need to feel for the ribs as they will be clearly visible. In cats with healthy weights, you can easily feel the ribs, but you will also find that it is slightly covered with fat or flesh. In overweight cats, however, you almost can’t feel the ribs, and in obese cats, it will be very difficult to feel them, if at all.
  • Fat Deposits. This is a sure sign that your cat is obese. When you look at your cat from the side, you will see fat deposits around the neck as well as on the limbs. If your cat’s belly is sagging too much, it could also be a sign that your cat is already obese.

What to Do If Your Cat Is Obese

visiting a vet with a fat cat

Obesity in cats is downright unhealthy. It can lead to arthritis, and joint pains as your pet’s limbs start having difficulties carrying the extra weight around. It can also lead to more serious conditions such as diabetes and heart diseases.

Here are some tips for you to help your cat lose those extra pounds.

  • Switch to Canned Food. If you’ve been feeding your cat dry food, it would be a good idea to switch to canned cat food instead. This normally contains fewer carbohydrates and more proteins than dry food. Moreover, you can easily set your cat’s eating schedule with canned food, whereas if you just leave dry food in your pet’s bowl, your pet can go back to the feeding bowl anytime he/she feels like eating.
  • Minimize Treats. Treats are a great way to reward your pet’s good behavior, but you can easily replace them with a different reward system when your cat’s already gaining too much weight. Instead of treats, you can give your cat a new toy to play with. It will also encourage your cat to move around and give him/her the exercise he/she needs. Using balls as toys is a good idea to force your cat to run around and get some workout.
  • Move the Food Bowl Often. If your fat cat has a habit of sleeping near the food bowl, it’s a great idea to move the bowl to different places. This will not only force your pet to walk around the house and look for his/her food, but it should also break their habits of sleeping near where their food is located. Don’t worry, cats are very smart, so your pet can definitely find their food bowl no matter where you hide it inside the house.
  • Feed Separately. Many cat parents have multiple cats in the house. If this is the case and one of the cats is overweight or obese, it would be a good idea to feed that cat separately. You can take your overweight cat into a different room to feed. If you’re feeding your other pets at the same time, make sure the overweight cat isn’t able to leave the room to join your other pets. Once feeding time is over, make sure that there’s no pet food lying around. Your other cats might need to sacrifice a little for the sake of your overweight cat, but this is a good way to train them on feeding time.
  • Visit the Vet. If your cat is already showing signs of being overweight, take your pet to the vet right away. Having your pet checked as soon as possible will help prevent health problems that might crop up later on. Moreover, your vet can give you good advice on how to keep your cat healthy and how to prevent your cat from becoming obese.

Wrap Up

cat on a diet

Weight problems in cats are as common as it is with humans. And just as it is unhealthy for humans to be overweight, it is the same for your feline pet. Which is why it is really important for cat parents to keep a close eye on their pet’s weight.

Have you ever had a cat go fat on you? How did you help your cat maintain a healthy weight? We’d appreciate it if you can share your experience with us. Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below. If, instead of being overweight, your cat is underweight, our article on How to Help a Cat Gain Weight should be able to help.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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