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Is my Matilda too skinny?

Mirelle ChateigneMirelle Chateigne Spring ValleyMember Posts: 239
edited 7 June, 2009 in Food & Nutrition
I\'m starting to be considered about whether or not my cat is too skinny. I\'ve been following the rule of thumb for dogs...1) you should be able to see their waist and 2) be able to feel their ribcage without probing for it but not see their ribs. Following this rule of thumb Matilda is just right. Then I spent the weekend at my friends house. She has 5 cats and they are all much bigger than Matilda. My friends 8-month old cat is twice Matilda\'s size. I\'ve been scoping all the pet stores adoption areas and all their cats Matilda\'s age are much bigger than her. Matilda stopped gaining weight at 7 months. She was 7 pounds then and 5 months later is still 7 pounds. She\'s grown longer in 5 months but hasn\'t put on more weight. While she was a kitten I did free feed her. Often Matilda would rarely finish all of her food. I thought she was going to be a finichy eater. Once she turned one I stopped free feeding. Now, every time I step in the kitchen she runs to me begging for food. Just figured she was still getting use to not having food always available. It wasn\'t until I started comparing her other cats that I\'ve been wondering if she is too skinny. She\'s very small compared to the other year old kitties. I know without actually seeing Matilda it would be hard to tell if she is too skinny or not. But I was wondering what guidelines other follow to determine if their cat is the right size. And wondering if I should go back to free feeding. Matilda usually eats all her food now that I\'ve stopped free feeding. I also hid a handful of kibble around the house for her to find daily. Thanks!


  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 12 May, 2009
    Matilda, yes you should be able to see their waist and feel their ribs. I would not go back to free feeding, it just is not healthy for a cat, for many reasons. By looking at your pics and the breed of cat you are, you seem fine for a 1 yr old. If you are feeding dry food, cats seem to never be satisfied on this food, (they spray a tantalizing spray of animal fats or digests to the kibble),otherwise you probably wouldnt really like that food. If you were to feed some high protein wet food you will find that she will get more muscle mass, and will fill out a bit more, with of course exercise(playtime) You actually only need about 167 calories a day, according to the weight you are now. If you would like her to be say 10 lbs up her calories to just 206 calories a day.
  • Rebecca NowakRebecca Nowak Orange County, NYMember Posts: 1,397
    edited 13 May, 2009
    Hi Matilda - I agree with all that Shadow said. I just want to add that not all cats mature to the same size, just like people. Maybe Matilda just is meant to be a smaller cat. Two of my previous girl cats, who were littermates, were petite all of their lives (~7 lbs), but were very healthy. Their half sister was 11 - 12 lbs. Also, I don\'t know if you feed wet or dry, but I would like to 2nd the idea of a wet food like EVO or Wellnes or NV Instincts which are grain free and full of muscle building protein (although remember, it is probably healthier to be a bit underweight than the other way around). Purrs!
  • Lacey KingstonLacey Kingston WilmingtonMember Posts: 7,527
    edited 29 May, 2009
    Another thing to consider is that owners and vets are much more used to seeing fat and obese pets these days than healthy trim pets. We exercise our pets and feed them to keep them on the lean side, and our vet has always been ecstatic about this! Moocher and Smokey are old as dirt and at the point that we let them eat whatever they want, but Hobie is on a strict meal plan and what I'd consider petite for a male. He's 2 years and about 9-10lbs. But, I think he's perfect, not too thick, not too thin.
  • Karina GressKarina Gress Member Posts: 402
    edited 29 May, 2009
    Based on the pictures, I don't think she's too skinny, just a smaller cat. Cats come in all shapes and sizes, just like people. I had a cat growing up that was only 6 pounds and very small, and now I have 3 larger cats, all big enough to reach and open doors. Only one of my larger cats has been dubbed "overweight" by the vet, and he's just as long as the other 2, just a little heftier around the middle. Next time you take kitty in for a check-up, be sure to ask, but I think she's just fine. Oh, and super cute too!
  • Nicole JonesNicole Jones Fort CollinsMember Posts: 128
    edited 30 May, 2009
    My cat's name is Matilda too :) Only she's a chunky kitty. I agree with everyone else. Cats come in all shapes. My 2nd cat, Chloe, is 7 lbs and has been since she was 8 months old (she's almost 2 now). My vet actually said she was almost a little overweight because she was starting to get tummy fat (I was afraid the vet would say she was underweight, so that was a shocker, lol). I think people are used to overweight pets. Wet food is best for cats, the dry food is addictive to them (kitty crack!). I still feed it, but in very small quantities. I looked at your pictures and you don't look too small. Ask your vet what he/she thinks :) You could also check out
  • edited 30 May, 2009
    Another thing to consider is age. Some cats can keep their kitten-ish figure for a good while. It was 2 years before momma Teaka filled out, and I actually remained slender \'til I was about 3 years old. My brother Loki, on the other hand, filled out to a full muscled thugboi by the time he was about one & a half years old. :D
  • hannah hannahhannah hannah town/ N'hood/ the bark parkMember Posts: 566
    edited 30 May, 2009
    No. matilda is purrfect. wheeler ( no profile yet) is a lot like matilda. Wheeler is about 8 mos old and is not growing. wheeler weighs about 7 pounds too and is very very petite about 8 inches tall ( to head) and like 10 inches long:)) so wheeler is small lol
    edited 7 June, 2009
    My mina is very slender too. She is very active. The vet told it could be because this is the way she is, she has worms, or she's depressed. Since i ruled out the other two, we're assuming its her natural cat shape.
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