Body Condition Score for Cats

What is Your Cat’s Body Condition Score, and how you can check it at home?

The Body Condition Score is an international scale, widely used to assess whether or not your cat is under weight, over weight, or at an ideal level. In this post, we talk you though the scale, from 1-9, and with the help of Veterinarian Carol Doyle, show you how you can assess your cat’s Body Condition Score at home.

The Body Condition Score is the first assessment to be carried out to determine if you cat is at a healthy size, and is used in conjunction with regular weight checks to monitor changes in your cat’s size.

Your Cat’s Body Condition Score Explained

The Body Condition Score is a ranking scale form 1-9, with 1 being dangerously thin, and 9 being dangerously obese. The ideal score for your cat is 4-5. Cats with a score of 1-2 or above 7 should attend their vet immediately, as they may be at risk of serious health complications. If your cat is registering in these brackets, please do not attempt to adjust your pet’s diet or weight without veterinary supervision.

At all times, if your cat is showing any signs of distress, or experiences sudden weight loss or gain, please consult with your veterinarian.

BCS Ratings

If you suspect your cat may have an underlying condition, it is recommended that you bring them to the vet for diagnosis & treatment

1. Before the Assessment

Before you begin, give your cat lots of cuddles to help her to relax! Once your cat is comfortable, you can start to assess her body condition. Include lots of gentle strokes along the way, and your pet may not even notice that they’re having a check-up!

2. Profile Check

Look at your standing cat from a side-on angle, when level with them. This will help you to get a good view of their tummy, limbs, and posture.

3. Overhead check

Look down at your standing cat from overhead. This will give you a good view of their waist and lumbar area (back).

I’ve Checked my Cat’s BCS, What Should I do Next?

If your cat is registering as a 3 or 6, you will be able to correct his BCS with some adjustments to her diet and exercise. Petmania’s pet care advisors are available 7 days a week to help you with this. Visit your local store today.

If your cat is registering as a 4-5 she is currently as her ideal size. We now need to help you to keep her there! Monitoring her diet and ensuring regular exercise is the best way to do this. Read our blog post on how to prevent your cat from gaining excess weight here.

If your cat is in the 1-2 or over 7, please make an appointment to visit her veterinarian as soon as possible.


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