What Time Of Day Should I Weigh My Cat?


“Weighing your cat on a regular basis is an important part of monitoring your feline friend’s health,” says Dr. Rachael, a veterinarian at Apex Veterinary Clinic. “Your cat’s weight can fluctuate during the day, so being consistent with timing is key for accurate readings and effective weight management.” (Source)

Tracking your cat’s weight over time allows you to catch concerning trends early and take preventative action when needed. Obesity is unfortunately very common in pet cats, so diligent weight monitoring enables intervention before your kitty packs on dangerous extra pounds. As responsible cat parents, we want our furry friends to live long, healthy lives. Regular weight checks are a simple way to support their wellbeing.

Ideal Weighing Time

The ideal time to weigh your cat is early in the morning before they have eaten or drank anything. A cat’s weight tends to be lowest first thing in the morning, before they have consumed any food or water. This provides the most accurate and consistent “baseline” weight.

According to veterinarians, weighing your cat before feeding in the morning is recommended because at this time of day their stomach is empty from fasting overnight. Their weight will not be affected or inflated by the intake of food or water. This allows you to obtain their true weight in its lowest state.

“Weigh them at the same time of day, preferably on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning, before they have breakfast, is ideal.” (Source)

Since a cat’s weight fluctuates throughout the day as they eat, drink, and use the litter box, their morning weight before any food or water represents their baseline. Weighing at a consistent time in the morning provides the most accurate readings for tracking any weight changes over time.


The process for accurately weighing your cat at home involves a few simple steps:

First, choose a scale and location. Use the same digital scale each time in a quiet, calm area of your home where you can easily contain or confine your cat. Avoid distracting or stressful locations.

Next, calibrate the scale properly and check that it’s reading zero. Place the scale on a flat, hard surface rather than carpet.

With your cat nearby, gently pick them up and place them in the center of the scale’s platform. Try not to restrict or contain them initially so you can gauge cooperation.

Allow your cat a moment to settle and refrain from moving around on the scale. When they are still, note the weight reading. Remove your cat from the scale.

For accuracy, take 2-3 weight measurements in quick succession and average the results. Always record the weights.

With a cooperative cat, this entire in-home weighing process takes just a couple minutes. Having another person help restrain or distract your cat can also streamline weighing.

Weigh your cat at the same time of day each time you measure, such as morning before feeding. Be calm, patient, and consistent for reliable at-home weights.


Veterinarians recommend weighing your adult cat at least once a month to monitor any weight changes (Creating a Weight Reduction Plan for Cats). Kittens should be weighed more frequently, such as once a week, since they are rapidly growing and gaining weight (Cat Weight Loss Information).

When first starting a diet, it’s a good idea to weigh your cat more often, such as every 1-2 weeks. This allows you to closely monitor progress and make any needed adjustments to food amounts (Weighing your cat at home). Once the ideal weight has been reached, you can scale back to weighing monthly.

Keeping detailed records of your cat’s weight over time provides valuable information to share with your veterinarian regarding diet, exercise, and health.

Weight Fluctuations

It’s normal for your cat’s weight to fluctuate slightly during the day. According to TheCatSite, cats can experience minor fluctuations depending on factors like energy expenditure, frequency of using the litter box, speed of eating, and more. However, the overall pattern and trend in your cat’s weight over days or weeks is more important than isolated measurements.

Focus on consistency when weighing rather than getting hung up on normal fluctuations. Weigh your cat at the same time of day and under similar circumstances as much as possible. As long as your cat’s general weight trend over time is stable and healthy, small fluctuations during the day are nothing to worry about. The key is monitoring for significant changes in weight over a period of weeks or months, not day-to-day.

Changes in Weight

Weight changes in cats can be concerning and often indicate an underlying health issue. Notify your vet if your cat has lost or gained a significant amount of weight, even if they are still eating normally. Sudden weight loss or gain that amounts to 10% or more of their body weight warrants a vet visit.

Some common health conditions that cause weight changes in cats include:

  • Hyperthyroidism – an overactive thyroid gland that increases metabolism and causes weight loss despite a ravenous appetite. (Purina)
  • Diabetes – excess blood sugar gets excreted through urine leading to dehydration and weight loss. (Kingsley Animal Hospital)
  • Kidney disease – causes poor nutrient absorption, nausea, and muscle wasting. (PetMD)
  • Dental disease – makes eating painful leading to reduced appetite and weight loss. (Kingsley Animal Hospital)

Notify your vet promptly if your cat shows abnormal changes in weight. Together you can identify any underlying condition and create a treatment plan to restore their health and appropriate weight.

Diet and Exercise

A healthy weight for your cat depends on maintaining the right balance of diet and activity. Portion control is key – feeding your cat measured amounts based on their needs and current weight will help prevent overeating. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) provides guidelines on ideal caloric intake based on your cat’s age, weight, and activity level.

Along with a measured diet, ensure your cat gets plenty of exercise through play and activity. Use interactive toys like balls, feathers, and laser pointers to encourage your cat to run and jump. Set up obstacles like tunnels or cardboard boxes to create an agility course. Consider getting an exercise wheel designed for cats. Providing at least 10-15 minutes of vigorous playtime twice a day will help your cat burn calories and maintain an ideal weight. For overweight cats, gradually increase playtime as they get fitter.

With portion control and regular activity, you can keep your cat fit, active, and close to their optimal weight. Consult your veterinarian if you need help determining the right diet and exercise plan for your cat’s needs.

Senior Cat Considerations

Senior cats, 7 years and older, need more frequent monitoring as they are prone to weight loss as part of the aging process. Weight loss in senior cats can be an indicator of underlying illness, so frequent weighing is important to identify changes early on. It is normal for cats over 12 years old to experience some muscle wasting and loss of body fat, resulting in weight loss despite a normal appetite and diet.

According to the Just Cats Clinic, it is recommended to weigh senior cats “every three to four weeks” to detect any concerning changes (“Assessing Your Senior Cat’s Quality of Life”). Gradual weight loss in senior cats is normal, but sudden or rapid weight loss should be discussed with a veterinarian. Older cats also have increased risk of developing certain illnesses like kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and cancer which can contribute to weight fluctuations.

Owners of senior cats should take note if their older cat is showing other symptoms like increased thirst, changes in appetite or litterbox habits, lethargy or vocalizing pain. These along with weight loss may indicate an underlying health issue needing veterinary attention. With diligent at-home weighing and monitoring, senior cat owners can best maintain their pet’s health and quality of life into the later years.

Tracking Methods

Monitoring your cat’s weight is an important part of maintaining its health and wellbeing. Tracking your cat’s weight over time can help identify concerning trends or fluctuations that may require dietary or lifestyle changes.

There are a few recommended methods for tracking your cat’s weight:

Weight Charts: Recording your cat’s weight on a chart each time you weigh it can reveal patterns over weeks or months. This allows you to visualize weight changes rather than relying on memory. Charts can be downloaded and printed or created in a spreadsheet program. Veterinarians may provide weight charts to help monitor a cat’s progress on a weight loss program (Weight Management Tracker for Cats – VCA Animal Hospitals).

Apps: There are apps specifically designed for tracking cat weight, such as Purrfect Weight. These allow you to easily record weights, set weight goals, and generate graphs over time. The app can be accessed on multiple devices so the entire household can participate in tracking (Purrfect Weight App).

Written Records: Simply writing down your cat’s weight each time in a notebook or journal can also effectively track changes over time. Be sure to note the date with each recorded weight.

No matter which method you choose, consistency is key. Weigh your cat at the same time of day and under the same conditions as much as possible. Tracking weight routinely with your veterinarian’s guidance can help keep your cat happy and healthy.


In summary, weighing your cat on a regular basis is essential to monitoring their health and wellbeing. The ideal time to weigh a cat is in the morning before feeding, as this gives the most accurate and consistent weight. Kittens and elderly cats may require more frequent weigh-ins to track growth and weight loss. While some weight fluctuations are normal, significant changes could indicate an underlying health issue that needs veterinary attention. Establishing a routine weighing schedule allows cat owners to catch concerning trends early. Weighing your cat just once a month and tracking the results over time provides insight into their diet, metabolism, and overall health.

Routine at-home weigh-ins, combined with annual vet checks, are the best way to make sure your cat maintains a healthy weight as they age. A too-heavy or too-light cat is at risk for obesity, malnutrition, and disease. By monitoring your cat’s weight routinely, you can adjust their diet and activity to keep them at their ideal size. A healthy weight means a happier, more active cat and a longer feline lifespan. Weighing is a simple way cat owners can be proactive about their pet’s health.

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