7 signs of a healthy cat

5 min read

Pablo Medina Bener


If you’ve got doubts about your cat’s health, then you’re certainly not alone: ‘Healthy cat’ queries are actually among Google’s most popular search terms. Whether it’s their size, their shape or just the general indicators of a healthy cat, owners want to know that their furbaby is in tip-top shape. Unfortunately our cats can’t tell us when they’re feeling bloated or under the weather, and they’ve evolved to hide their symptoms for fear of showing weakness to predators. Always be aware of any behavorial changes.

So in this post, we’re going to run through the tell-tale tips and hints that can show us whether our kitty is healthy or otherwise. While it’s easy to obsess about a healthy cat weight and see this as the be-all-and-end-all of feline fitness, we’ll give you some other techniques that don’t require the weighing scales.

As an added bonus, we’ll suggest some healthy cat food (and cat treat) options that will help keep your little tiger lean and mean, while giving them all the nutrients they need to burn calories.

A healthy cat weight (and how to judge it)

We’ll cover this topic in more detail in a future post, but for now, we can summarize by saying that a healthy adult cat should weigh around 10 pounds (4.5kg). However, this will vary according to the breed you have; a bigger breed, such as a Maine Coon, will weigh more than a Siamese, and sometimes several times more. Age and gender will also play a role – male cats tend to weigh more than females.

So the veterinary community has developed a system known as the body condition score (BCS), which is designed to offer a more accurate assessment of your cat’s weight. To find your cat’s BCS, you need to examine them in three specific ways:

  • Looking at them from above to see whether you can detect the outline of their waist.
  • Looking at them from the side to see the shape of their belly.
  • Feeling for their ribs, lumbar vertebrae (spine) and pelvic bones.

The BCS scale runs from 1 to 9, and a score of 5 is ideal. This means you can see the outline of the waist, but it is not exaggerated; that their abdomen is fairly flat and straight, neither drooping nor tucking into the body; and you can feel their bones but not too easily.

If you want to know more about the BCS, check out our blog post here.

Other signs of a healthy cat

In addition to your cat’s weight and body shape, it’s important to monitor them regularly and look for clues in their appearance and demeanour. Regular check-ups at the vet are essential, but you can do much of the detective work yourself once you know what to look for.

Here are seven signs that all owners should keep an eye on.


A clean, shiny coat is the classic sign to look out for. As well as demonstrating that your cat is on top of their grooming regime, a good coat shows they’re getting a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals and essential amino and fatty acids.


The eyes should be bright and clear, the pupils should be of equal size and there should be no redness or discharge. If the eyes aren’t clear, that may be a sign of a condition such as conjunctivitis (swelling of the conjunctive tissues. Kittens or unvaccinated cats are susceptible to more serious conditions and checking the cat’s eyes is extremely important.


Again, the ears should be clean. This means they’re light-pink in colour color with no redness, swelling, debris or wax (well, at least very little) . Again, any problems in this area could indicate an infection, or the presence of ear mites.


If your cat lets you near their mouth, it’s worth a quick check now and again. Healthy cat gums should be pink, pale or bright. If the gums are red rather than pink, that may be a sign of an inflammatory condition like gingivitis, which is commonly caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar.


Cats sleep for up to 16 hours a day so if your little furball keeps going for a nap, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about. However, if you think they’re sleeping more than normal, it’s worth getting checked out with a vet.


Even the laziest cats can get excited by a fluffy wand, a laser light or a toy mouse. So if your cat is showing less interest than normal in these classic teasers, it may be a sign that they’re feeling a bit below par.

The best cat food for a healthy kitty

As we’ve outlined in a previous post (LINK), your cat is an obligate carnivore, which means they need to eat meat. Specifically their diet should be high in protein with lesser amounts of fat and carbohydrates: this replicates the blend of nutrients they would get from birds and rodents in the wild. Foods like chicken, turkey and salmon can provide the lean, high-quality base your kitty needs.

It’s also important to think about vitamins and minerals, as these play a vital role in keeping your cat healthy and active.

Your cat’s essential vitamins include:

Vitamin A.This keeps their skin, coat, muscles and nerves all working properly.

Vitamin B12.Keeps your cat’s nervous system, immune system and digestive tract working.

Vitamin D.Supports the muscles and nerves and helps bone growth.

Key minerals include:

Calcium.Facilitates healthy bone development, supports the normal function of your cat’s cells and helps their heart and other vital muscles work properly.

Iron.Helps oxygen to move round the body, ensuring your cat has the energy it needs.

Magnesium.Assists the healthy functioning of your cat’s enzymes and supports the development of both teeth and bones.

When you're shopping for cat food, you should look for products that contain all these nutrients. We’ve previously written about the best ingredients to support a healthy cat weight, and you can find that post here (LINK). It’s also a good idea to visit your vet and ask them for more detailed advice about the best cat food to buy.

And now... some healthy cat treats!

As well as investing in healthy cat food, you should make sure you buy treats that are packed with nutritional goodness. There’s no point giving your cat a strict diet and then allowing them to get flabby with unhealthy snacks.

We’d recommend looking for snacks that are based on high-quality meats, with the basic nutritional blend we’ve described above. The treat should be cooked rather than raw and should be free of preservatives and artificial coloring

As a starting point, you can check out our Meaty Morsels Chicken Recipe with Salmon. As you can probably guess, this is packed with protein; not only that, but it contains loads of Omega-3, another of those essential nutrients which supports a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Explore Our Cat Treats

Creamy Lickable Treat in a Squeezable Tube

Squeeze this creamy, low-calorie treat right from the tube onto your cat’s tongue and watch your cat lick 'n' lap it all up!

Super Soft Bite-Sized Meaty Treats

Cats love the size, texture and high meat content of these soft and tasty, double-meaty treats!

Gently Oven-Roasted Cat Sticks

High meat content (>70%), small batch production and premium ingredients combine to make these truly irresistible.

Thick and Creamy Topper or Side Dish

Tender chicken fillet pieces in a thick and creamy stew! Great for older cats!

Local Stores

We know what Cats are really into