How To Weigh Your Cat At Home

min read

A grey cat with a dark face lays across the back of a sofa with front paws dangled over the back. The cat looks with eyes and ears directly at the camera

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Monitoring your cat’s weight throughout their life is a really useful habit to get into and can be, quite literally, a life-saver in some circumstances. Cats are notorious for not being fans of travel or trips to the vet, so if you can weigh them at home, you can keep your and your cat’s stress levels down! In this article, we’ll look at why monitoring weight is so important and how you can go about weighing your cat at home.

How to weigh your cat at home

If you get your cat as a kitten, that’s a great time to get them used to being put on the bathroom scales. Make sure you have digital scales, especially for kittens because they are so light. Very small kittens might even be best weighed on your kitchen scales to start with.

Weighing your kitten every two weeks is ideal to start. This will let you and your vet make sure that they are growing at a healthy rate. Most cats are almost at their adult size at around six months of age, from which point you can weigh them monthly. So how to go about it?

  • Most digital scales will give a reading after a few seconds, so if you can get your cat to sit still enough, you can simply place them on the scales and wait. You could hold a nice treat to encourage them to stay still. Most cats are trainable with food rewards, and getting them to sit on the scales is the easiest way to do things if you can manage it.

  • Using their cat basket is a good option if they are a bit flighty or fidgety. Making the cat basket a positive thing is another good habit to get into for any cat owner. Too often, our cats only see the basket when it’s time to go to the vet or the cattery, so the basket can have really negative associations. Leave the basket to be used as a bed for your cat in a nice, quiet place with a favourite cushion. You can also give treats in the basket to encourage your cat to go inside.

    When it’s time to weigh your cat, place them in the basket, shut the door and weigh the whole lot. Make sure the basket is sitting evenly on the scales and not touching the floor. Note the weight and then let your cat out. Weigh the basket, including anything else that was also inside like the bedding, and then simply subtract the basket weight from the basket and cat weight.

  • Holding your cat and weighing yourself is a third option. Many cats do not like being picked up, so please only use this method if you are sure your cat won’t struggle to get away, possibly causing you or them injury. Just as with the basket technique, weigh yourself with the cat and then without, and the difference between the two weights is the cat!

Weight watching - why is it important?

Knowing your cat’s weight is important. Once you and your vet are happy that your cat is an ideal adult weight, keeping it there is great for health. With age and after neutering, your cat might need fewer calories, and it’s easier to keep weight off than lose it. Noticing an upward trend will keep you ahead of the game. Equally, weight loss can be one of the earliest signs of disease and illness, so noticing weight change in either direction is really important. If ever in any doubt, talk to your vet – that’s why we’re here!

Reviewed by Dr. Hein Meyer, DVM, PhD, Dipl-ECVIM-CA