How to weigh your dog or cat

Mum sat on the kitchen floor holding ginger tabby cat whilst the young son is petting it

Did you know that regularly checking the weight of your cat and dog can be a valuable indicator of their overall health?

If your four-legged friend weighs too much or too little, this can put them at risk of arthritis, diabetes and reduced life expectancy.

We know that keeping your fur baby happy and healthy is your number one priority, which is why we have compiled a simple guide to weighing your dog or cat so that you can have peace of mind on your furry companion staying in tiptop health.




While it can be tempting to give your dog an extra treat here and there, overdoing it can lead to an increased risk of obesity.  A recent study by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) revealed that 1 in 14 dogs are overweight in the UK each year.

Being overweight can affect your dog’s health and reduce their ability to run around and play like they love to do.



How much does the average dog weigh?

It isn't easy to set an average dog weight as there are so many breeds and factors to consider.

A small dog weight would generally be classed as anything less than 22lb (10 kg), whereas a medium dog weight ranges from 22lb to 55lb (10-25 kg). A large dog weight would be regarded as anything over 55lb (25kg). The American Kennel Club has a fantastic resource that outlines the average weights for specific pure breeds.

These weights are a general guide only. Establishing a healthy dog weight will depend on your pup’s specific breed, age, sex, and health conditions. We would always recommend speaking with your vet to determine the healthiest weight for your dog.



How to weigh a dog at home

Weighing your dog at home can be an effective and inexpensive way to track your dog’s size and health.

The easiest way to weigh your dog at home is to use pet scales, which have a larger base to accommodate any dog size. Alternatively, you can use bathroom scales, although these may be less accurate. The simplest way to determine your dog's weight using bathroom scales is to step on the scales first and record your weight, then step on the scales while holding your dog and record that weight. Then all you have to do is subtract your number from the combined number of you and your dog to find out your pet's weight.

How to weigh your dog at home without a scale

If you don't have a scale at home, you can monitor your dog's weight using sight and touch.

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has an excellent resource for this. Their dog size-o-meter shows you how to undertake ‘body condition scoring’ to check your pup is a healthy weight. Generally speaking, you should be able to feel your dog's bones without them poking out, there should be no build-up of fat where the tail meets the body, and the tummy should not have any bulges.

Another great way to monitor your dog’s weight is to use a measuring tape to measure their neck, chest, back and legs and keep track of these numbers to monitor any weight changes.



Where can I weigh my dog for free?

Most vet clinics will allow you to use their scales free of charge. Otherwise, many pet stores and groomers have scales they allow customers to use.



How often should I weigh my dog?

How regularly you need to weigh your dog will depend on their age and health conditions. Puppies and dogs with weight concerns should be monitored more frequently, with weigh-ins every three to four weeks to check their growth and monitor any losses or gains. However, weighing them every six months should be sufficient for most other dogs.




In a recent survey conducted by Cats Protection, vets reported that 44% of cats they see are overweight or obese in their professional opinion. This is a staggering figure when you consider that an increase in weight can lead to health conditions including osteoarthritis, diabetes and breathing difficulties.

Fortunately, we have some handy tips to keep track of your feline’s weight to ensure they stay in optimum health.



How much does the average cat weigh?

The average weight depends on various factors, including the cat’s sex, age, and medical conditions. However, as a general guide, an average small cat’s weight can be as little as 5 pounds (2.2kg), a medium cat’s weight is approximately 10 pounds (4-4.5kg), while a large breed cat’s weight can reach 25 pounds (11kg).



How much should a cat weigh?

A healthy cat’s weight is usually around 10 pounds (4- 4.5kg). However, this can vary depending on your cat’s age, sex and existing health conditions.

A more accurate way to determine your cat’s optimum weight may be to undertake ‘body condition scoring’ to check for any signs of malnourishment or obesity. The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has a brilliant tool for this. Their cat size-o-meter takes you through what you need to look out for to check if your cat is at its ideal weight, for example, checking for belly fat, feeling for their bones and checking their waist for indicators of overall health.



How to weigh a cat at home?

The most accurate way to weigh your cat at home would be using pet scales, as these provide a larger surface area to distribute your pet's weight better.

However, you can use bathroom scales if you don't own any pet scales.

The easiest way to weigh your cat is to place it in a carrier and place it on the scales to record its combined weight. Then, take the cat out of the carrier and only weigh the carrier. Subtract the weight of the carrier from the combined weight of carrier and cat to determine your cat's weight.



How to weigh a cat without a scale?

If you do not have access to scales at home, most vets, pet shops and groomers will allow customers to use their scales, usually at no extra cost.

However, another way of monitoring your cat’s health would be to use a measuring tape to measure their neck, legs, waist and back and re-measure every month or so to check for any changes.



How often should I weigh my cat?

For kittens and cats with weight-related health concerns, it is advised to weigh them at least once a month, whereas, for most other cats, weighing them at their six to twelve-month vet check-up should be enough to monitor any changes.

If you notice any sudden changes to your cat’s weight, it is always best to get this checked out with your vet immediately to find out the cause so they can treat it speedily.


Whether you are looking for insurance for a cat or dog, or perhaps both, Asda Money Pet Insurance has the cover for you. We even offer a 10% multi-pet discount! *

*Subject to minimum premiums

Trustpilot reviews