Picture of a fat cat on a scale

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Healthy cats: 7 tips how to fight feline obesity

Have you noticed your furry friend looking a little chunky lately? Obesity in cats is becoming a major problem, and it’s important for cat owners to understand the risks and take action. In this blog post, we’ll go over the reasons why cats are packing on the pounds, the consequences of letting them get too heavy, and how to tell if your cat needs to lose a little weight. Plus, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to help your cat get back to a healthy size.

What is Cat Obesity?

Obesity in cats is defined as an excess of body fat that negatively affects a cat’s health. It’s estimated that over 50% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese, which is a staggering statistic. Just like in humans, obesity in cats can lead to a number of serious health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.

What Causes Obesity in Cats?

There are several factors that lead to obesity in cats. The most common cause is overfeeding or feeding your cat a high-calorie diet. Other factors include lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, and age-related metabolism changes. It’s important to note that obesity in cats can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so it’s wise to consult with your veterinarian if you notice any sudden weight gain in your cat.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight?

It’s not always easy to tell if your cat is overweight, especially if they have a lot of fur. However, there are a few signs you can look for. One of the most obvious signs is if you can’t feel your cat’s ribs or if they have a round belly. You can also look for a lack of waist definition, excessive fat on the neck and face, and difficulty grooming. If you’re unsure if your cat is overweight, your veterinarian can help you determine its ideal weight.

Healthy cat: Tummy – Visible waistline, almost like an hourglass; Ribs – Not visible but can be felt; Energy levels – normal

Overweight cat: Tummy – No waistline and more round in nature; Ribs – Can’t be felt; Energy levels – low

At what weight is a cat overweight?

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The ideal weight for a cat can vary depending on their breed, age, and activity level. However, as a general rule, a cat is considered overweight if they weigh 10-20% more than their ideal weight.

For example, a typical domestic shorthair cat should weigh between 8-10 pounds. If your cat weighs 11-12 pounds, they are likely overweight. Keep in mind that even a small amount of excess weight can have a negative impact on your cat’s health, so it’s important to monitor their weight regularly.

How to Help my Cat Lose Weight

While it may be tempting to give in to your cat’s constant demands for food, it’s important to remember that a healthy weight is key to their overall well-being. By following these tips, you can help your cat achieve a healthy weight and enjoy a happier, more active lifestyle.

  • First off, consult with your veterinarian to develop a weight loss plan. He will probably sugest to changing your cat’s diet to a high-quality lower-calorie diet, specifically formulated for weight loss. It’s important to make any dietary changes gradually to avoid digestive upset.
  • Don’t rely on a self-feeder. Those things are basically like an all-you-can-eat buffet for overweight cats. If you do use one, make sure it’s on a timer so you can measure out the right amount for each meal.
  • Make mealtime a little more challenging and get your cat up and moving. Try moving their food bowl around the house. Rotate it from upstairs to downstairs, or move it to different rooms altogether. You can invest in some “feeding balls”. These are little toys that you fill with dry food and your cat has to roll them around to get the goodies to fall out.
  • When your cat begs for food, try giving them some love and attention instead. Lots of cats trade food for affection, so a little playtime might do the trick.
  • Feed your cat small meals throughout the day, rather than one or two big meals. This is especially important for those cats who like to wake you up at the crack of dawn begging for breakfast.
  • If your cat eyes an empty food bowl, try offering them some fresh, cold water instead. It might just satisfy their cravings and keep them from overeating.
  • And whatever you do, don’t give in and feed them extra food. It’s just going to encourage their bad behavior.
  • Get your cat moving. Use toys like feather wands, laser pointers, or even crumpled up balls of paper to get them up and running around. Make sure to spend at least ten minutes playing with them twice a day.
  • Finally, monitor your cat’s progress regularly, and adjust their diet and exercise routine as needed.

How long will my cat need to be on a diet?

The length of time that your cat will need to be on a weight loss diet will vary depending on how much weight they need to lose and their individual metabolism.

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In general, you can expect your cat to lose 1-2% of their body weight per week.

If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it may take several months for them to reach their ideal weight. Once your cat has reached their target weight, it’s important to continue feeding them a healthy diet and providing plenty of exercise to help them maintain their weight.

Prevention is Key

Preventing obesity in cats is easier than treating it. To prevent obesity in your cat, it’s important to feed them a high-quality diet appropriate for their age and activity level. Make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for exercise and playtime, and limit treats and table scraps. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can also help you catch weight problems early.

Final Thoughts

Obesity in cats is a serious problem. It can lead to a number of health issues. But with the right care and attention, it’s a problem that can be managed. By monitoring your cat’s weight, providing a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise, you can help your feline friend achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Remember to consult with your veterinarian to develop a weight loss plan that is tailored to your cat’s individual needs and always monitor their progress closely. With a little patience and persistence, you can help your cat live a long and healthy life.

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