Well-being

Cat Weight Chart: So, What Do You Mean By ‘Large Cat’?

Trent Webb

Now we use the term ‘large cat’ around here at Pet Drugs Online, because it is a really handy label to describe a whole heap of important cat health information. A cat’s weight you see, is instructional for worming, flea treatments and how much to feed them.

So what is a large cat?

You can find references all over our site for ‘large cat wormer’ and ‘large breed foods’ which is all well and good if you know what we mean by large. Obviously, there is no utterly fixed point, as the world of cats is both wide and varied. From a Cornish Rex’s view point most things bigger than a kitten are huge; but to an adult Norwegian Forest cat some springer spaniels look like lightweights! So, in the real world, or at least our world, a large cat is anything over 5kg in weight.

As a general veterinary shorthand large cat is any cat over 5kg (11lbs in weight)

How can I weigh my cat?

Well they’ll be weighed every time you visit the vets. So if you want to know their weight at the time of their last visit just give your vets surgery a call and one of the nurses will be able to look up your records. They should also have a weight history – so you’ll know if the cats getting heavier or lighter.

So what does kg mean in pounds and stones?

Working out Kgs from lbs

Classically, cats gain weight as they grow from kittens, hit a stable weight during their adult years, but their weight can fluctuate when they reach their senior years. In practice you’ll know if you cat is getting heavier as less than 5kg is a relatively easy weight to lift, even at a stretch. 5kg and heavier is not.

If you need a quicker guide pop the cat on the kitchen scales. Most kitchen scales can only weigh 5kg, so if the cat maxes them out, you’ve got a large cat. If the cat stays still enough to get an accurate reading, then you’ve got a small cat. If putting them on the scales just sounds a preposterous idea because they’d never fit, then you’ve probably got a large cat.

Weight them on the kitchen scales or the bathroom, scales, whatever works for you keep a weather eye on their weight

Are you brave enough for bathroom scales?

The other main option is the bathroom scales. If your cat will oblige by sitting still on these – winner! If not, you will have to do the stand on and weigh yourself, pick the cat up and weigh both of you, then subtract the smaller number from larger number – the remainder is the cat’s weight. This isn’t brilliantly accurate but should allow you to gauge within ½ kg what they weigh. Then it is just a case of forgetting/denying what you weigh!

Working out the right number of wormers

Frankly, this is probably the single most complicated thing you’ll ever have to do as a cat owner. Worming treatments must be given regularly in order to keep your cat clear of parasitic intestinal worms. However, the amount needed to make the medication effective depends on the cats’ weight. So larger cats get larger doses. The dose used also depends on the worming treatment being used. We’ve broken this down, into (hopefully) digestible chunks below. Just find your preferred wormer and then check how much you need to give.

Cat Weight Chart – Drontal

With Drontal Cat, you need to look at both columns and combine the tablet totals. An 11kg cat needs both a Drontal Cat AND a Drontal Cat XL tablet. While a 7kg cat should be given 0 Drontal Cat XL and 2 Drontal Cat tablets.

How many Drontal to give a large cat

Cat Weight Chart – Other Wormers

This table, for Cazitel and Prazitel, shows the number of tablets required. Panacur 10% is a liquid, and the dose is in millilitres. Panacur Paste comes in a syringe with graduated numbers on the plunger. You wind the ring on the plunger by the desired amount of graduations and this determines the dose.

Other wormers for large cats

Cat Weight Chart – Panacur Granules

The complication with Panacur’s Granules formulation is that there are three different strengths. 1g sachets jump in 2kg increments, 1.8g sachets in 4kg increments and 4.5g work every 10kg. Use as many sachets of a single strength as is suitable for your cat’s weight.

Panacur Granules for large cats

It can be harder to judge if a large cats is also over-weight. So ask about their ideal weight next time you visit the vets
John Campbell, Head Vet of Pet Drugs Online

You see. Easy wasn’t it? Remember some of the Panacurs do have lower but more frequent doses for kittens. As we’re talking large cats, the vast majority of cats will have to be full adults before they break the 5kg barrier. However, for those massive breeds, it is feasible they could hit 5kg+ and still not be fully grown.

Fighting fleas with spot ons

Thankfully the world of non-prescription flea treatment is so much easier. All but one of the main brands go for a one-size-treats all approach. So Frontline, Frontline Plus, Effipro, Eliminall and Flevox all just do a ‘cat’ version. Only Advantage differs, with small and large cat varieties. For Advantage the issue is more “is your cat small” rather than large. Large cat packs are known as Advantage 80 (for cats over 4kg), which is what you’ll be after if you’ve got a large cat.

If you’re buying prescription flea treatments however, all but one of these have large/small versions. Some even have a medium version. So, when you’re buying them make sure you pop the right size one in your basket – it should be clearly named on your prescription.

They’re big boned

Some cats genuinely are big-boned – if you’ve ever picked up a Maine or Norwegian Forest you’ll know that cats can truly be hefty beasts. Some other cats deemed large by weight are just a little portly. Regardless of the reason for their largeness they’ll still need feeding and the correct amount. Enough to give them some get-up-an-go, but not enough make to them even larger.

The key to feeding them right is reading the packet and following its guidelines rigorously. Just because they were up all night, or have been playing in the garden, or it’s a Sunday so they deserve a proper lunch, makes no difference. Long-term, properly measured meals make for happy cats.

10-15 grams (g) is plenty

Well for a normal shaped large cat that’s 10-15g of dry food per kilo. So, an 11kg cat should get in the region of 110 – 165g per day, while a 9kg cat should get 90 – 135g: that’s per day, not per meal. The exact amount will vary depending on the type of food you’re giving them, so do read the feeding guides on the packet.

More taste less waist

For wet food eaters a good guide is 50 – 60gs per cat per kilo. So, a 7kg cat would need 350g and 420gs wet food per day, while an 11kg cat would get between 550gs and 726gs. Again, read the feeding guides on the packs.

If you’re feeding them a mixed meal of biscuits, then it is time to take your shoes and socks off as you’ll have some serious counting to do. Use the dry food calculation to determine a maximum daily gram total for your cat. Then work out how many grams of wet food you feed them in grams. Divide this number by 4 to get its dry food equivalent. When you subtract the converted ‘wet total’ from the daily total, the rest can be made up of biscuits!

Maths head on

For an 11kg cat, their dry daily total would be 165g of food, but if they have 3 x 85g pouches of food (a total of 255g) that roughly equates to 63g of dry food. This means you can give them another 102g of kibble that day. That does sound a lot but these are big beasts and this example, an 11kg cat, will get through a 2kg bag in a mere 12 days or a full 5.1kgs in August.

Now if your cat needs a special diet or has weight (high or low) challenges, talk to your vet or their nursing team who will be able to help you develop a proper diet plan.

Kneesy does it

Large cats leap and bound around just as much as their smaller family members. However, their increased weight means they put far greater strain through their joints, because every impact (such as jumping down from the furniture) sees their skeleton take a double or treble load compared to their lighter cousins.

Joint supplements may be worth exploring, even if your large lad(y) is currently perfectly mobile. Laying down good nutritional foundations in their younger years can benefit them later. If they’re already a little creaky while these supplements won’t be able to turn back time, they will at least ensure your cat’s brimming with the joint and cartilage repair nutrients their hips, knees and toes will need.

These supplements can be given as treats (they are one of the few tablets that are actually eaten voluntarily) or broken up/sprinkled on food. For cats they range from 15p per tablet upwards, but you do need to bear in mind that these need to be given long term for maximum benefit, so it is not an insignificant commitment but it is one that can seriously underpin their quality of later life.

This post is an opinion and should only be used as a guide. You should discuss any change to your pet’s care or lifestyle thoroughly with your vet before starting any program or treatment.

If in doubt contact your veterinary practice

And always keep your vet's phone number handy - just in case!