How Do I Measure A Cat?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this post, we’ll break down the best practices for measuring your cat, what the ideal measurements are for his age and breed, and what to do if any readings fall outside the normal range.

As a cat parent, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how big your furry friend has grown over time. Measuring your cat is helpful to track their development and health as they age. While cats don’t always stand still long enough for precise measurements, getting a general sense of your cat’s size can provide useful insight. In this post, we’ll explore effective techniques to measure a cat, even if it is not feeling particularly cooperative. We’ll discuss how and when to measure various parts of your cat’s body, so you can monitor their growth progress and identify any potential issues early. By learning a few simple measuring strategies, you’ll gain a better understanding of your cat without stressing them out in the process.

How Do I Measure A Cat?

Measuring your cat accurately is essential for various reasons such as determining the right size for cat furniture or tracking your cat’s growth. Here are the steps to measure your cat:

  • Length: Start from the base of the tail and end at the tip of the nose. Make sure the cat is standing in a normal position. Use a flexible tape measure for this.
  • Height: Measure from the top of the shoulders to the floor. Ensure that the cat is standing upright. Again, a flexible tape measure is ideal.
  • Weight: Regular household scales can be inaccurate for small weights. It’s best to use a baby scale or pet scale. Simply place the cat on the scale and record the weight.
  • Girth: Measure around the largest part of their chest and belly area. This is just behind the front legs.

Remember to handle your cat gently during this process to prevent causing any discomfort or stress.

How To Measure a Cat for a Harness, Collar, or Clothes

What Is The Purpose Of Measuring A Cat?

Measuring a cat serves multiple purposes. 

Determining Proper Size for Pet Accessories: By knowing your cat’s measurements, you can ensure that you purchase the correctly sized pet accessories. This includes items such as harnesses, collars, and carriers.

Tracking Growth: Regular measurement allows you to track your cat’s growth and development, particularly important in the early years.

Monitoring Weight: Regular weight checks can help maintain a healthy weight for your cat and promptly identify any sudden weight gain or loss that could indicate a health issue.

Health Assessments: Measurements can provide valuable information for veterinary health assessments. For instance, changes in girth might indicate problems such as obesity or other underlying health ailments.

Custom Furniture: If you’re planning to build custom furniture for your cat, such as a bed or a climbing cat tree, accurate measurements will help make it a perfect fit for your feline friend.

What Tools Do I Need For Measuring A Cat?

To accurately measure your cat, you will need the following tools:

  • Flexible Tape Measure: This is crucial for measuring the length, height, and girth of your cat. Ensure the tape measure is flexible enough to curve around your cat’s body comfortably.
  • Pet or Baby Scale: Regular household scales are not accurate for small weights, so a baby scale or a dedicated pet scale is necessary to measure your cat’s weight.
  • Notepad and Pen: To record all the measurements accurately so you can track any changes over time.
  • Treats or Toys: These are not exactly ‘tools’, but they can be very helpful in keeping your cat calm and distracted during the measuring process. 

Remember to handle these tools gently, as cats can be startled by unfamiliar objects. Always prioritize your cat’s comfort and safety during the measuring process.

How Do I Ensure Accuracy When Measuring A Cat?

Ensuring accuracy when measuring your cat requires patience, precision, and a gentle approach. Here are some key tips to help you get the most accurate measurements:

Relax Your Cat: A calm cat is easier to measure. Make sure the environment is quiet and peaceful to calm your cat. If necessary, use toys or treats to distract them during the measuring process.

Take Multiple Measurements: Cats are likely to move during the measuring process, which can lead to variations in measurements. It’s therefore recommended to take multiple measurements and use the average as the final measurement.

Use The Right Tools: A flexible tape measure is ideal for measuring length, height, and girth. For weight, a dedicated pet scale is recommended for the most accurate results.

Record The Measurements: Always note down the measurements immediately. This not only ensures accuracy but allows you to monitor your cat’s growth or weight changes over time.

Consult a Vet: If precise measurements are required, especially for medical reasons, consult a veterinary professional. They have the skills and tools necessary to take accurate measurements of your cat.

What Should I Do If My Cat Won’t Stay Still For Measuring?

If your cat is uncooperative during the measuring process, there are several strategies you can employ. Firstly, try to measure your cat when they are relaxed or tired, perhaps after a meal or playtime. You can also use cat treats or cat toys to distract them during the process. Additionally, consider doing the measurements over a few days, doing a little at a time rather than all in one go. If your cat continues to be resistant, it might be best to seek help from a professional, such as a veterinarian or a professional groomer. They are experienced in handling pets and may be able to complete the measurements more easily.

How Often Should I Measure My Cat?

The frequency of measuring your cat largely depends on factors like age, health, and lifestyle. Kittens and young cats who are still growing should be measured more frequently, perhaps once a month, to track their growth and ensure they’re developing properly. As cats age and their growth slows, you may reduce this to a quarterly or bi-annual measurement. Regular measurement is also necessary if you’re monitoring your cat’s weight for health reasons or dietary adjustments. However, in case your cat experiences sudden weight loss or gain or shows any signs of discomfort or health issues, seek professional veterinary advice immediately. 

Read more: How Do I Measure My Cat For Clothes?


In conclusion, measuring a cat may seem like a simple task, but it requires careful consideration and attention to detail. From understanding the different measurement techniques to being aware of the various factors that can influence a cat’s size, determining accurate measurements is crucial for keeping your furry friend healthy and happy. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this blog post, you can confidently measure your cat with ease. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if needed. Now that you have a better understanding of how to measure a cat, go ahead and put your skills to the test! So whether you’re looking to buy new toys or clothes for your feline companion or simply curious about their growth and development, always remember the key points shared in this article.