Scales For Weighing Kittens
BY LEE HARPER, Mockingbird Persians & Exotics
Spanish Translation / Traducción Español

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In the article titled Why I Weigh My Kittens I discussed the importance of daily weighing of newborn kittens as a way of monitoring their health status.

When you purchase your scale, there are certain features you need to consider in making a wise purchase:

  1. Digital or Mechanical?
  2. The Zeroing Mechanism
  3. The Platform Base
  4. The Range and Accuracy of the Scale
  5. The Display
  6. The Cost

Digital or Mechanical?

Scales come in two basic types, digital or mechanical.

A mechanical scale has a spring mechanism.

While fine for weighing food, the spring loaded mechanisms "jiggle" with movement - and your kitten is unlikely to remain perfectly still when being weighed.

A digital scale is a much better choice for the cat breeder. It is not only more accurate than a mechanical scale, but it is also not affected by movement.

The Zeroing Mechanism

Most scales have a zeroing mechanism - although some are easier to use than others. You need an accurate zeroing mechanism so you can place a basket or bowl to "hold" the kitten on the scale and zero it before weighing the kitten.

The Platform Base

When weighing newborn or adult cats, you will need to place them in a "container" that will fit on the base of the scale

The base of the scale needs to be large enough to place a basket or bowl easily.

Range & Accuracy of the Scale

The range of a scale refers to the maximum weight it will weigh. The accuracy refers to the smallest difference in weight that the scale can detect.

The smaller the total weight of the kitten, the smaller the increment you want your scale to weigh.

Thus, for newborn kittens, you need a scale that is accurate to one-tenth of an ounce or 3 grams and that weighs at least to 4 pounds.

For older kittens and cats, a scale which is accurate to .2 ounces or 5 grams and that weighs up to 10 pounds is suitable.

If you have a cat that weighs over 10 pounds, you don't have to worry about weighing it at all :-)

The higher the scale weighs, the higher it will cost. The more accurate a scale, the more it will cost.

Typical Mechanical Food Scale
Cost: $20


Deluxe Mechanical Food Scale
Cost: $40


Digital Postal Scale
Cost: $70

The Display

Make sure the numbers on the scale are easy for you to read. The older you are, the bigger the numbers seem to need to be :-))))


Digital scales are more expensive than the same range mechanical scales. Mechanical scales are just not accurate enough however for weighing live animals.

My Personal Choice

I have found the best choice for my cattery needs is the Pelouse Digital Postal Scale available at your local office supply store.

Pelouse makes a 5-lb scale that measures in 0.1-oz/2-gram increments. I use it for accurate weighing of newborns and kittens up to 4 months old. If you are only purchasing one scale, this is the one to buy. Cost: about $70 at Staples or Office Depot

I actually use two scales in my cattery. Pelouse also has a 10-lb scale that measures in 5-gram/0.2-oz increments. I use this especially when campaigning a show cat to keep track of its "show" weight.

The platform size is the same for both of them (5 7/8" x 5 7/8"). This is the perfect size for holding a small mixing bowl in place. By the time my cats are adults, they have learned to sit in a bowl to be weighed like little angels.

Each scale measures weights in both grams or ounces and operates on an AC adapter or 9-volt battery.

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