Body Condition Score

1/5 or 1/9 

  • Ribs, backbone, pelvic bones visible from a distance 

  • Obvious loss of muscle mass present. 

  • Severe abdominal tuck and dramatic waistline on both cats and dogs.

  • No discernible body fat. 

1.5/5 or 2/9

  • Ribs and backbone and pelvic bones visible

  • Minor loss of muscle mass. 

  • Severe waistline and abdominal tuck.

  • No palpable fat.

2/5 or 3/9

  • Ribs, pelvis, lumbar vertebrae easily palpated and somewhat visible. 

  • Obvious waistline and abdominal tuck.

  • No palpable fat. 

2.5/5 or 4/9 

  • Ribs, pelvis, backbone easily palpated but not as visible and minimal fat covering. 

  • Obvious waistline and abdominal tuck.

  • Waistline easily noted when viewed from above.

3/5 or 5/9

  • Ribs, pelvis and backbone palpable with a thin layer of fat covering. 

  • Waistline and abdominal tuck obvious but not severe with more gradual curves. 

  • Cats have minimal abdominal fat pad in front of the rear legs.

3.5/5 or 6/9 

  • Slight fat layer over ribs, backbone and pelvis making them more difficult to palpate. 

  •  Abdominal tuck present but minimal. Waistline visible, but not prominent. Cats have minimal fat pad.

4/5 or 7/9 

  • Ribs covered with heavy fat layer requiring finger pressure to feel. 

  • Difficult to feel backbone or pelvis. 

  • Waistline not apparent. Abdominal tuck still slightly visible. 

  • Cats have moderate abdominal fat pad.

4.5/5 or 8/9 

  • Ribs, pelvis and backbone covered with a thick fat layer and palpable only with extreme pressure. 

  • No abdominal tuck or waistline.

5/5 or 9/9

  •  Ribs and backbone not palpable under thick fat layer. Abdominal distention projects downward (opposite of abdominal tuck) and outward (protruding waistline). 

  • Fat deposits on legs, face and over tail head covering pelvis. 

  • Cats have extensive abdominal fat pad and sagging bellies.

Data should be used as a reference point only, and if in any doubt a practicing Vet should always seek a second opinion. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch,