How to Measure Your Cat
You've probably heard the expression "Measure twice, cut once." This is old wisdom and it applies to making the best decisions when buying your cat's necessities.
When selecting a cat's bed, carrier, clothes, and even toys, it is good to know how to take your cat’s measurements. This will allow you to know the exact size of your cat instead of guessing ‘large’ or ‘small’. And there are many good reasons for doing this.
Top 3 Reasons to Measure Your Cat Accurately
Safety is obviously always first! A proper fit is essential for your cat’s collar. Too-tight collars can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties, leading to immense discomfort, stress, and poor health outcomes.
Breakaway and Quick Release Collars
For all these reasons, Breakaway and Quick Release Collars and Harnesses were designed to remove the choking hazard. If your cat gets caught in a difficult position where the collar is the problem, they’ll be able to ‘break away'. These collars, when properly measured, are the best type for feisty, adventurous outdoor cats.
Most collars with buckle closures can be safe, so long as they are properly measured and worn in safe environments where there is no danger of getting caught or harmed.
Ideally, you should have your eye on your cat when they are wearing a novelty collar. And it bears repeating that outdoor cats should only wear breakaway and quick release collars with proper identification. Safety first!
Discover the Perfect Cat Beds Using Proper Measurements
It can be frustrating finding the right bed for your cat. Many times they wind up being too small or constricting, or even too large. The sweet spot can be elusive, especially if you’re guessing!
Luckily, measuring your cat gives you the best chance at getting it right on the first try. Your cat and wallet will thank you!
Measure your cat regularly to save money. It can be difficult to assess whether your cat has grown 1cm (0.39”) around their chest, but it can make all the difference between a comfortable sweater and a constricting nuisance.
Why not keep the purchasing experience as convenient, thrifty, and hassle-free as can be and measure your cat? The savings will add up over time!
Stretch the Value of First-Time Purchases with Proper Measurements
Cat carriers are a necessary first-time purchase for every new cat parent. But many cat parents will need to buy several different sizes of cat carriers as their cat grows or when they adopt a new feline family member.
This is also true for beds and toys, but a carrier’s measurements can be just as important to your cat’s comfort and safety as a properly measured collar.
We understand how overwhelming it can get to feel like you’ve got your first-time cat parent bases covered. ‘How Much Does It Cost to Keep a Cat?’ will help you confidently assess your needs and budget accordingly.
CatToyz Quicktip: Make Carriers Fun For Your Cat!
Because your cat knows to associate carriers with less-than-desirable activities, like trips to the veterinarian or emergencies, they can feel stressed even in the most comfortable, size-appropriate carrier.
If your cat is particularly skittish when it comes to getting in their carrier, try using a properly sized, modern backpack-style carrier to take your cat on fun adventures, like walks or bike rides. This way, when it comes to taking them in for their check-up, they’ll feel more relaxed.
What to Measure on Your Cat
We borrowed Timothy Meinberg’s lovely picture of a Cat in the Bay to illustrate below:
Using a body measuring tape, measure the circumference of your cat’s neck, chest, and back or length.
Measure a relaxed loop around the neck and chest, not too loose and not too tight.
To measure your cat’s back, use the base of their neck as the starting point up to the base of their tail. Loosely follow the curve of their back.
What if I Don’t Have a Body Measuring Tape?
A body measuring tape is the flexible kind that makes it easy and accurate to take measurements.
But you don’t need one, so long as you have some other accurate form of measurement. Most households have a self-retracting metal tape measure.
You can use any type of string or ribbon to take the measurement. Before you do, get a pen and paper ready to record the results. Also, stretch out the self-retracting tape measure beforehand and lock it.
Ensure there is enough length on either side of the ribbon or string so you can comfortably grip it between your thumb and forefinger. Hold the measured length taut against the tape measure for accuracy.
Should I Size Up or Down?
We highly recommend you over-estimate your cat’s measurements than under-estimate. And this is the reason you measure loosely. You are technically taking the ideal measurements of a collar, clothes, or carrier.
For example, your cat’s measurements are:
- Neck: 24.5cm / 9.65” Chest: 31cm / 12.20" Back 23cm / 9.06"
You’d like to buy them a Cat Hoodie whose XS and S sizes are the following:
- XS: Neck: 24cm / 9.45” Chest: 31cm / 12.20” Back: 22cm / 8.66"
- S: Neck: 29cm / 11.42" Chest: 38cm / 14.96” Back: 25cm / 9.84"
Select S for a roomier fit.
Many manufacturers advise that their product’s measurements have deviance of 1-3cm / 0.39”-1.18” and that can be more or less than the ones shown. When you buy the small size instead of the extra-small, you won’t run the risk of the Hoodie being too tight.
Many products created for cats are classified according to cat size. And this can be a bit of a problem if you’re not sure where your cat fits on that scale. In general, a cat’s size is determined by their chest circumference and length, as well as their weight.
Small Cat Size
- Chest: 28-36cm / 11-14”
- Back/Length: 26-33cm / 10-13”
- Approximate Weight: 2-4kg / 4-8lbs
Medium Cat Size
- Chest: 36-43cm / 14-17”
- Back/Length: 33-41cm / 13-16”
- Approximate Weight: 4-6kg / 8-12lbs
Large Cat Size
- Chest: 43-51cm / 17-20”
- Back/Length: 33-41cm / 13-16”
- Approximate Weight: 6-8kg / 12-16lbs
For safety, savings, and comfort's sake, make sure you measure your cat regularly!