You’re just observing your adorable ball of fur and thinking how amazing it is to have a feline friend.
It’s so cuddly, soft, and round. Petting it makes you absolutely happy. While petting your cat, it hits you all of a sudden: It seems that your pet is rather larger than the cats you typically come across.
What is this about? Why is my cat so big?
There isn’t a single and unique explanation for this occurrence. There are five common reasons for your cat to be big and to appear larger than other felines.
Let’s look at them and investigate whether you should do anything about this.
1. The Breed
Your cat’s big size could be completely normal and natural. This means that it’s related to its breed.
Some cats are just bigger than others. Also, some reach their full size at the age between 12 and 18 months. For others, it could take up to 2 to 3 years to stop growing.
According to the Spruce Pets, the largest domesticated cat breeds are the following:
• American Bobtail
• Maine Coon
• Norwegian Forest Cat
If you have any of the above mentioned breeds, it’s entirely normal that your cat seems to be larger than other cats you usually come across.
Maine Coon, for instance, can grow up to be 10 to inches tall, and long up to an impressive 40 inches. Its average weight varies from 8 to 25 pounds.
So, there could be nothing wrong with a cat that appears to be big. This might just be a part of its nature, and a way it’s supposed to look like.
2. Cat’s Diet
You’re worried and wondering why your cat is so big. If its body weight doesn’t align with the average for its breed, the next thing to consider is whether your pet might be overeating.
Leaving food available to your cat at all times is wrong. Feeding it too many treats and giving it too often is also not right.
If your cat is permitted to go outside, there’s a good chance that it’s getting food from some other sources, too. Perhaps you have some nice neighbors who just can’t resist offering their leftovers to your adorable cat.
Also, felines are exceptional hunters and could also eat their prey. This can happen even if they aren’t really hungry.
Moreover, you could share some of your tasty meals with your pet. This is also absolutely wrong and can contribute to your cat looking so big.
I know that it’s difficult to get your cat to stop begging for food. However, be aware that your cat begging you for an extra portion doesn’t necessarily mean it’s hungry.
Furthermore, you should know that overeating and free access to food are likely the main culprits of feline obesity.
3. Cat’s Lifestyle
Your cat’s way of living and its surroundings could also make it look big.
Mainly, this refers to a cat’s exercise levels. Indoor cats, or cats with restricted outdoor access, are more likely to put on extra weight. This happens because of fewer opportunities for activities and calorie burning.
Just like humans, cats also need a decent amount of physical activity to stay healthy, satisfied, and at optimal weight.
A cat that spends most of its time lounging, napping, or sleeping has a higher chance of getting too big.
Of course, it’s nice to spend some time chilling with your feline friend on the sofa. But, this isn’t the right way for a cat to spend time, especially not all day long.
While some cats love to exercise naturally, and don’t need any stimulation in this area, others are more sedentary and will need their owners’ encouragement.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals suggests that two sessions of 15-20 minutes of exercise are a must for every cat.
Senior cats are likely to start looking bigger than they used to.
As a cat grows old, its life changes drastically. Most usually, it doesn’t feel the same urge for activity and exercise.
Also, even if they do, most older cats become less mobile and capable of performing all the activities they were so skillful at before.
In general, senior cats lead a more sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, they could develop certain medical conditions and need to consume medications.
Medications may also contribute to weight gain in felines.
5. Underlying Health Problems
In addition to medications that a cat might ingest, which could potentially contribute to its larger appearance, underlying health problems themselves could be a culprit for this change.
For instance, health issues like arthritis or joint discomfort can reduce a cat’s mobility. This means it won’t use its energy in the way it did before, leading to an increased risk of weight gain.
Once again, older cats are more likely to develop the mentioned health problems. Nevertheless, they can also manifest in younger felines and a range of other health issues can be at play as well.
How To Keep Your Cat At Optimal Weight?
There are some steps you need to undertake to stop asking the question: Why is my cat so big?
By respecting them, you’ll keep your cat at optimal weight, and also take adequate care of its overall health.
Overweight felines often have problems with mobility, meaning that their life quality will drastically decrease.
Let’s look at these three crucial steps in detail.
High-quality food, divided into adequate daily meals, is essential for your cat’s healthy body weight.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they thrive on animal protein. For a cat to lose weight, its food should contain less fat, but still have all the important nutrients.
Of course, make sure your cat receives enough food that corresponds to its age and activity level.
Its food should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You should check the label on the cat food you’re using carefully. The meat should be listed as the first ingredient.
If you have any uncertainties, you can always check with your veterinarian.
Both dry and wet food have advantages. Some cats appear to like the wet food better, while others are reluctant to eat it.
The ideal combination would be for a cat to eat both types of food. Wet food keeps a cat hydrated, while dry food is beneficial for its teeth.
I’m sure you’re aware your cat’s obesity problem isn’t a good thing, but you may be afraid that you’ll leave your cat hungry.
Preventive Vet suggests that adult cats require about 20 calories per pound of their body weight a day.
Therefore, by respecting this guide for proper calorie intake, your cat won’t be hungry for sure.
Finally, cut off cat treats. You should use treats as rewards, and only occasionally. They shouldn’t be a regular part of your cat’s diet. Also, don’t share your meals with your pet, especially not often.
Regular physical activity is equally important as a quality diet for a cat’s healthy size.
This is certainly an easier task to do with dogs. It’s completely normal to see many pet parents jogging with their dogs in the park. Or, hiking with them in the mountains.
However, cats aren’t like this. Also, I believe many of you just aren’t supporters of your cats living outside.
Running, hunting, and jumping outside is certainly an irreplaceable experience for felines. Despite this, you can also transform your home into an enjoyable space for your cat to engage in daily exercise and activities.
This includes providing it with a cat tree and a scratching post. Additionally, it’s crucial to set aside dedicated playtime with your cat each day.
Use items such as paper or foil balls, or anything in this matter that your cat can find interesting. It will be enough to entertain it with this type of activity twice a day for 10 minutes.
Also, squeaking toys and hunting toys will be very entertaining for your feline friend. Keep in mind that diversity is a key here. So, change your cat’s toys often and reward it with something new and fun to play with.
You should also consider letting your cat go outside for shorter periods. Of course, this should always be under your surveillance.
Finally, veterinary visits are important to keep your cat at a healthy body weight.
In case you’re unsure of your cat’s ideal weight, your vet should be the person you consult with. It can give you the best advice on a quality diet for your cat, and on a desirable number of daily meals.
Also, regular visits provide you with a detailed insight into your cat’s health. As already mentioned, in some cases, a cat looking too big could have an underlying health condition.
No matter the type of disease your cat could be dealing with, timely detection and appropriate treatment guarantee the best chance for recovery.
Why is my cat so big?
When picturing a cat pet, most people will imagine a small, adorable ball of fur. So, it could come as a surprise to see your cat growing big, especially if you’re a novice cat parent without any experience in this area.
However, a cat that seems big could be perfectly healthy and normal. Just look up its breed standard and expected body proportions!
Still, not are cats should be as big as they are. This could also be caused by overeating, lack of exercise, senior age, or even some medical reasons.
In case your cat severely stands out from its desirable body weight, you should take some steps to help. These include quality nutrition with fewer calories, regular exercise, and veterinary visits.
Some would say that chubby cats are even more charming and just can’t resist squeezing those adorable cheeks.
Well, you should know that obesity can significantly undermine your cat’s health and quality of life. There isn’t anything adorable about a cat struggling with moving or grooming itself!
A cat should be fit, flexible, and active. This is only possible when it’s at an optimal body weight.
So, my advice to you is to keep track of your cat’s weight. If it seems to be drastically bigger than it used to be, it’s time to make some changes.