Body Condition Scoring (BCS) for Dogs and CatsBody Condition Scoring (BCS) is a quick and simple way to evaluate your cat or dog’s weight. To help ensure that your pet maintains a healthy weight, you can check their BCS twice a month. Keeping a record of each date and the corresponding BCS overtime is an easy way to be sure that your cat or dog isn’t gaining or losing too much weight. In this article, we’ll describe what you should be looking for, how to evaluate your pet, and what the results mean.FirstVet is the #1 online video veterinary service.FirstVet offers video calls with experienced veterinarians for just $35. You can get a consultation within minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Over 500,000 users trust FirstVet to care for their animals. Rating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1300 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviews Download app Weight Guide for Your DogBody Condition Score 1-3 = Under Ideal1 - Ribs, lumbar vertebra (lower back), pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass2 - Ribs, lumbar vertebra, pelvic bones and all bony prominences easily visible. No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominences. Minimal loss of muscle mass3 - Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist (viewed from above, narrowing in front of the pelvis). Abdominal tuck (viewed from the side, the belly runs upwards from the front legs towards the back legs)Body Condition Score 4-5 = Ideal4 - Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted when viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident5 - Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from aboveBody Condition Score 6-9 = Over Ideal6 - Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible when viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent7 - Ribs palpable with difficulty; heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over the lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be present8 - Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over the lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distention may be present9 - Massive fat deposits over the thorax spine and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Obvious abdominal distentionWeight Guide for Your CatBody Condition Score 1-4 = Under Ideal1 - Ribs very easily seen on short-haired cats. No fat pads present. Severe abdominal tuck. Lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily seen and felt2 - Ribs easily seen on short-haired cats. Lumbar vertebrae obvious. Pronounced abdominal tuck. No fat pads present3 - Ribs easily felt with minimal fat covering. Lumbar vertebrae obvious. Obvious waist behind ribs when viewed from above. Minimal abdominal fat pads4 - Ribs felt with minimal fat covering. Noticeable waist behind ribs. Slight abdominal tuck. Minimal abdominal fat padsBody Condition Score 5 = Ideal5 - Well-proportioned. Ribs felt with slight fat covering. Waist seen behind ribs, but not pronounced. Abdominal fat pad minimalBody Condition Score 6-9 = Over Ideal6 - Ribs felt with slight excess fat covering. Waist and abdominal fat pad present but not obvious. Abdominal tuck absent. (A BCS of 6/9 may be acceptable in some cats, especially older cats.)7 - Ribs not easily felt through moderate fat covering. Waist not easily seen. Slight rounding of the abdomen may be present. Moderate abdominal fat pad8 - Ribs not felt due to excess fat covering. Waist absent when viewed from above. Obvious rounding of abdomen with prominent abdominal fat pad. Fat deposits present over lower back area9 - Ribs not felt under heavy fat cover. Heavy fat deposits over the lumbar area, face and limbs. Distention of abdomen with no waist. Extensive abdominal fat depositsRead More:Obesity in DogsObesity in catsGet advice from an experienced vet:If you notice that your pet is overweight or underweightIf your pet is losing or gaining weightIf you need advice on how to manage your pet’s weight, diet, or exercise planHave more questions about your dog or cat's weight?Schedule a video appointment to chat with one of our vets.