Your cat’s Body Condition Score

It’s best to use shape as well as the scales to check if your cat is fit and healthy. Checking their shape regularly will help you know if your cat gained or lost weight. By feeling and looking at their body, you can carry out a ‘Body Condition Score’, which will tell you where your cat sits on the 9-point body condition scale.

It’s really easy to do a Body Condition Score on your cat – they will probably even enjoy it. It entails running your hands (and eyes) over their body to check their shape, which will help you know if your cat is healthy or needs to lose weight.


How to do a Body Condition Score

  1. Run your hands along your cat’s sides. The skin should move freely over the ribs, which you should be able to feel with a light touch.
  2. Run your hands along your cats back. You should be able to feel the spine and hipbones under the skin without being able to see them.
  3. Gently feel the base of your cat’s tail. There shouldn’t be a build-up of fat.
  4. Feel under your cat’s tummy. It should go in, not bulge out.
  5. Look at your cat from the side and from above. You should be able to see a waist. If not, your cat may be overweight.
A depiction of underweight, ideal weight, and overweight cats, along with their Body Condition Score and what this means

Understand your cat

It can be tricky to tell if your cat has put on weight, especially as we see them every day! So the best person to speak to is your vet. Our Vet Q&A also has some tips on how to spot the signs your cat is piling on the pounds.

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Obesity in cats

Being obese puts your cat at risk of health problems and will likely reduce how long they live. For more information on obesity in cats, visit our Pet Health Hub.

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Royal Canin

Proudly supported by Royal Canin, we’re here to help you get your pet into shape. The PDSA Pet Store has lots of tasty food to tantalise your cat’s tastebuds while helping them lose weight.

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For more top tips and expert vet advice on how to improve your pet’s diet and exercise regime, download our free Weigh Up diet and exercise guide.