Cat Getting Fatter? That is the norm, say results of a new study

If you have an aging kitty who is packing on the pounds, that is in keeping with what is happening to most cats, say the results of a new study.  Researchers have accessed data on more than 19 million cats and have learned that most cats continue to put on weight as they age.

Study Overview

Researchers analyzed 54 million weight measurements taken at vets’ offices on 19 million cats. The research team broke down the data to stratify any differences over gender, neutering status and breed.

Key Findings

  • Most cats continue to put on weight as they age
  • The average weight for cats is on the rise
  • After cats mature from the kitten phase, their weight still creeps up until they are, on average, eight years old
  • Male cats tend to reach higher weight peaks than females
  • Spayed or neutered cats tended to be heavier than unaltered cats
  • Among the four most common purebred breeds (Siamese, Persian, Himalayan and Maine Coon), the mean weight peaked between six and 10 years of age
  • Among common domestic cats, weight gain peaked at eight years of age


Just as humans need to be aware of maintaining a healthy weight as they age, it’s important to monitor weight changes in cats…

“The monitoring of body weight is an important indicator of health in both humans and animals. It’s a data point that is commonly collected at each medical appointment, is simple to monitor at home and is an easy point of entry into data-driven animal wellness…If your cat is gaining or losing weight, it may be an indicator of an underlying problem…

“We do have concerns with obesity in middle age, because we know that can lead to diseases for cats, such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and cancer…”

-Dr. Adam Campigotto, researcher


Journal Reference: Adam J. Campigotto, Zvonimir Poljak, Elizabeth A. Stone, Deborah Stacey, Theresa M. Bernardo. Investigation of relationships between body weight and age among domestic cats stratified by breed and sex. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2019; 255 (2): 205.                                                          Overview /Study  DOI: 10.2460/javma.255.2.20