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Myth: My cat isn't fat, he's just big-boned.

Excerpt from My Fat Cat by Martha Garvey

Myth: My cat isn’t fat, he’s just big-boned.

Truth: This is a myth so popular, it’s the name of a popular book of cartoons. It is true that not all cats are born the same, and while there is less size variation in cats than in dogs, you will never mistake a petite hairless sphinx for a Maine Coon. Some breeds do grow larger than others.

Here are some typical healthy weights for adult purebred cats. Typically, female cats weigh less than male cats, so the range can be wide.

Abyssinian                                           9 - 17 pounds

American or European Burmese          8 – 14 pounds

American Shorthair                             8 – 15 pounds

Cornish Rex                                         6 – 10 pounds

Devon Rex                                          6 – 9 pounds

Egyptian Mau                                      5 – 11 pounds

Exotic shorthair                                   7 – 14 pounds

Maine Coon                                         9 – 22 pounds

Manx                                                   8 – 12 pounds

Ocicat                                                  6 – 14 pounds

Persian                                                 8 – 15 pounds

Ragdoll                                                10 – 20 pounds

Scottish fold                                        6 – 13 pounds

Siamese                                               6 – 12 pounds

 As you can see, weights can vary widely among breeds. But no breed ought to have a stomach like Fred Flintstone. And while it’s unlikely that you’ll be reported to the authorities for over feeding your cat in America, in other countries, things can be a little tougher. Recently, a 41-pound cat in Germany was removed from his owner’s home and put in a shelter – not to be given up for adoption, but to reeducate the cat in the ways of normal eating.

With some breeds of cat, it is quite easy to tell when a cat has gained a few. Other breeds have the luxury of hiding their avoirdupois under a luxurious coat. Dr. Emily Levine, D.V.M., who actually put 60 fat cats on a diet during a Cornell research project in 2004, admits that some cats hide their fat better than others, thanks to abundant fur, a forgiving body type, or both. The only way to establish whether these cats had gained or lost weight was to weigh them on a scale that was calibrated to both pounds and ounces. But there isn’t that much variation. Unlike dogs, cats have a reasonable uniform size and shape, usually weighing between 6 and 12 pounds. A larger breed cat usually tops out at around 20 pounds. Just because your cat “carries” his excess weight well doesn’t mean he’s doing well.

To learn more about keeping your cat at her ideal weight, purchase My Fat Cat from Catnip.

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