The UK’s Pet Obesity Crisis: Almost Half of Cats and Dogs Overweight

  • Almost half of the UK’s cats and dogs are overweight

  • Dogs generally maintain a healthy weight better than cats

  • Multi-pet households are less likely to have overweight pets

Despite the nation’s affection for their furry companions, a new study shows that almost half (46%) of Britain’s cats and dogs are overweight, posing severe health risks to our beloved pets. This highlights that pet obesity is a large issue across the country.[1]

The latest survey by Go.Compare Pet Insurance asked owners to rank their pets’ weight using the comical “Chonk Chart,” shedding light on the weight status of the nation’s cats and dogs. Below is the percentage of cats and dogs that fall within each category on the humorous chart.

Pet weight distribution

Weight category

Body fat (%)

% of cats & dogs

20 – A Fine Boi



30 – He Chomnk



40 – A Heckin’ Chonker












The majority (54%) of pets are “Fine Bois,” sitting in the recommended weight category with 16-25% body fat. However, a chunky 30% of pets find themselves in the “He Chomnk” category, straddling the line between fit and fluffy, with 26-35% body fat. The percentage of pets decreases quickly in the higher weight categories.

Dogs fare better than cats in maintaining a healthy weight. According to the survey, 58% of dog owners say their pets fall into the healthy weight category, compared to only 46% of cat owners. The findings raise important questions about the factors contributing to obesity in cats and the level of awareness among owners about feline care.

The insurance comparison site’s study also highlights the influence of household dynamics on pet weight, as multi-pet households are found to be less likely to have overweight pets.  Just 35% of pets from single-pet households sit within the recommended weight category, compared to over half (54%) of those from multi-pet households.

Alison Thomas, head of veterinary standards at Blue Cross, spoke about the health issues associated with pet obesity: “Obesity carries health and welfare risks for cats and dogs as it does with people. Heart problems, arthritis, diabetes and breathing problems occur more frequently in pets carrying excess weight.

“Symptoms of these conditions include pain, difficulty breathing and walking, and can lead to a risk of death. Obese pets are known to have a shorter life span and a poorer quality of life. Obesity occurs more commonly in middle-aged and neutered pets.

“Additionally, a 2021 VetCompass study of 22,333 dogs showed that some breeds were at a higher risk of being obese (pug, beagle, golden retriever, and English springer spaniel are some examples).[2] Overfeeding and under-exercising of dogs has a significant impact on weight gain particularly in those dogs and cats with other risk factors. This may be overfeeding at meal times or excessive use of treats.”

Rhys Jones, pet insurance expert at Go.Compare, said: “Obesity can cause serious long-term harm to our pets. Not only does this impact the wellbeing of our furry family members, but it can also take its toll on our wallets.

“Many vets will diagnose obesity as a long-term medical condition, and this can impact your pet insurance premiums. For those seeking new coverage for their overweight pet, obesity is classified as a pre-existing condition, which can hike coverage costs.

“It should be a priority for owners to make a conscious effort to protect their pets’ health. Make sure that they’re fed a suitable diet and get the proper level of exercise by providing them with the right tools and routines.”

More information about the research is available on Go.Compare’s website.

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