How can we tell if our kitties are in good shape. There are 5 steps we can follow to find out recommended by veterinarians.
Step 1: Feel the cat's ribs
You should be able to feel their ribs quite easily. Even though they are covered with a layer of fat, they are distinct and easy to detect. If you can see the ribs or can nearly feel any fat around the ribs, your cat is too thin. If you have a hard time feeling the ribs at all, your cat is very overweight.
Step 2: Check the base of the tail
There should be more fat covering the base, but you can still feel the bones. If the bones seem to stick out, your cat is underweight. If you cannot feel the bones, your cat is very overweight.
Step 3: Check other bony parts of the body
Look for other bones that protrude, such as in the shoulder, spine or hips. The rule of the thumb is you should be able to feel some fat covering the bones otherwise your cat is too thin. If you cannot feel the bones at all, your cat is very overweight.
Step 4: Look at your cat from above
Cats should have a definite waist. If the waist is too round or the bones are too prominent, your cat is not in good shape.
Step 5: Look at your cat from the side
A normal weight cat should have an abdominal tuck. The diameter of the area behind their ribs should be smaller than their chest. If it is larger, the cat is very overweight. If you see a severe abdominal tuck, your cat is underweight.
Below is a 9 scoring system from peteducation.com to give you an idea of the above and side views.
Body Score = 1
Body Score = 3
Body Score = 5
Body Score = 7
Body Score = 9