MACON, Ga. — For all you cat lovers, do you ever wonder if your feline is getting a little on the chunky side?
A new study from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association shows that a house cat's average weight is higher now than it was two decades ago.
Cats -- they eat and they sleep. That's about it. With that kind of schedule, you might add some extra pounds.
"They have food around all the time, so they may just be eating out of boredom, sometimes we are overfeeding them."
Northside Wesleyan Animal Hospital Veterinarian Erika Drummond says she sees some bigger cats.
"I definitely see a fair number of obese, overweight cats. I'd probably estimate 40 to 60 percent of our cats are overweight," says Drummond.
The study says it's because more cats are indoors and not getting enough exercise.
How can you even tell if your cat is, well, obese?
"If they're getting a larger abdominal pouch, if they're losing that abdominal tuck, and you're not seeing a waist back there, those would be indications of an obese cat," says Drummond.
Veterinarians can tell if your cat is getting too big with physical exams.
Healthy weights differ from cat breeds. That's why it's important to bring them in for annual checkups.
Drummond says adding on extra pounds can be harmful in the long run.
"Diabetes, or heart disease, respiratory issues, you can have higher risk of heat stroke, or exercise intolerance," says Drummond.
Drummond says it's hard for pet owners to notice weight gain because they see them every day.
The study looked at 19 million cats from Canada and the United States.
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