Researchers at Canada’s Ontario Veterinary College analyzed the electronic veterinary health data of over 19 million cats and found that not only do cats tend to put on weight as they age, but they also have been getting fatter over the past few decades.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that a cat’s weight will gradually increase until it is around 8 years of age. Male cats tend to be heavier than females, and spayed/neutered cats tend to be heavier than unaltered cats.
Purebred cats reach their peak weight between 6 and 10 years of age, while non-purebred domestic cats peak at 8 years.
The mean weight of cats has increased overall from 1995 to 2005. However, weight has held steady between 2005 and 2015.
Researchers note that many cats in the study had only one weight on file, suggesting that regular vet visits where weight is taken are uncommon for many pet cats. They say that cats can be overlooked when it comes to health studies because they go to the vet less frequently than dogs.
In an article on the study, the researchers urge owners to monitor their cat’s weight regularly, including at-home weigh-in sessions. They note that unusual weight loss or gain can be a sign of a serious underlying health problem.
Check out this video on the study here!