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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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How much should my 7 month old nuetered male cat weigh

Customer Question

His tummy is hanging. He weighs between 10-11 lbs now. I feed Science Diet kitten food since getting him at 8 weeks & 2 lbs. I feed the recommended amount on pkg put down each morning. I play with him before I go to work, leave him toys out during the day, play with him again when I get home to encourage exercise because he probably sleeps all day when I''m gone and he sleeps with me at night.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Hi there!

Well, generally cats are about 1 lb per month... which would mean the *average* 7 month old cat would weigh about 7lbs. Now, your boy may be a larger build than average, but he may also weigh more than is ideal. I'll give you a link on how to evaluate the size of your cat and his "body condition score" which is a way of assessing whether they are over or under weight.

http://www.petplace.com/cats/obesity-in-cats/page1.aspx

Obviously, I cannot make any comment on his weight without examining him... but I have rarely met a 7 month old kitten as large as 10-11lbs! ;-)

I advise most cat owners to switch to adult cat food at about 6 or 7 months of age, and I feel confident that your cat is ready to make the switch. The manufacturers of pet food would have you stay on kitten food much longer because it costs more. But he has reached 90% of his full height by now, so he would be fine to make the switch.

When switching to adult food, I recommend doing it over 2-3 weeks, with a gradual addition of the new food. So, start with 90% his regular and 10% the new food for 2 days, then 80% regular and 20% new, and so on. This will help prevent diarrhea or tummy upset.

Generally, the amount suggested on the bag of food is more than what a cat needs. Again, the manufacturers want to sell cat food, and they never want to be accused of starving a cat!

However, I don't feel comfortable with suggesting you cut back on the quantity without having actually seen the cat. The reason for my caution is that weight loss in cats can be tricky. If they lose weight too fast they are at serious risk of developing Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver Disease). This is something that overweight cats are prone to. If an overweight cat decreases his food consumption by approximately 30% for as little as 2 weeks he is likely to develop hepatic lipidosis. Also, if a fat cat stops eating completely for 2-3 days he is likely to develop hepatic lipidosis.

Essentially what happens is the body goes into a state of starvation, and a signal is sent out that the body must mobilize the fat stores to provide energy. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a signal about how much fat to mobilize and fat cats have a lot... so it all gets sent to the liver to be converted from fat into glucose. And the liver gets overwhelmed and shuts down. This leads to nausea and vomiting, which means the cat won't eat, and the body tries to mobilize more fat. The cycle continues and the liver gets into more trouble.

I will add some links with further details:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1455

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1327&articleid=217

So, in summary, most cats of this age weigh 7-8 lbs. And most cats of this age are ready to switch to adult food, so that is certainly a first step that you are safe to take with your boy. In terms of cutting back on the quantity, that is something that you would need to speak with your vet about directly as he would be in a better position to assess what would be safe for your kitty.

If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and leave feedback. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!

Fiona

Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience: 16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
Dr.Fiona and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the info. I will make the switch to adult food as I was thinking this could help with the weight issue,I just wasn't sure because of his age.I think Jack is going to be a "big" guy anyway, he has a pretty big frame for his age but not as lean as I knew he should be. He is a gorgeous grey/silver with green eyes with his own spunky personality and I want him healthy so he can be around making me laugh for years to come!
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 6 years ago.

Good luck with him! And ask your vet when you are in for Jack's next physical exam and vaccines what an ideal weight should be and for feeding recommendations! It is much easier to not gain excess weight than it is to take it off (I should have remembered that myself at Christmas time! :-) )

Fiona

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Dr.Fiona
Dr.Fiona
Veterinarian
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16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario