Obesity in Cats

by | Cat Care |

Katy the cat from Russia weighs almost 50 lbs

Obesity in the North American population has certainly become a big issue over the last decade. Thanks to fast food, large portions and lack of exercise many people are fighting the battle of the bulge. As a result, many pets are starting to follow the trend of their owners and are becoming overweight or obese. A few extra pounds on your feline friend is one thing, however if your veterinarian has concerns about your cat’s weight, you need to be proactive about helping your cat slim down.

Cats who are overweight are subject to a variety of health problems, such as diabetes or arthritis. It will also negatively affect vital health functions, such as the digestive system and organs such as the heart. The most common mistake when it comes to overfed pets is free choice feeding, which is filling the food bowl whenever its empty. Some cat owners do not read the nutritional label or the feeding instructions on the bag. It is very important to understand what is in your pet’s diet, so you can ensure they are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients that they need in order to stay healthy.

A seven pound cat will need an average of 0.6 and 1.0 ounce of food per meal. That is approximately the same weight as a mouse! Many commercial cat foods can have excess carbohydrates which are bad for your cat. Talk to your vet about an appropriate feeding schedule that includes the type of food and how much per day your cat should be eating. If your cat has a weight problem, just like a person cutting down on soda and chips, you will need to drastically reduce the amount of treats your cat gets every day or week. Many treats are laden with sodium and will only add to your cat’s weight.

Exercise with a cat is quite different from exercising your dog. Cats naturally prefer to spend much of their time lounging and snoozing, and many cats will definitely not be interested in going for a run with you! However, playing with your cat is a great way to burn some calories and enjoy some quality time together. Look for toys that roll or can be dangled to increase running and jumping. Experiment with a few toys to see what really gets your cat excited.

To ensure your cat lives the longest and healthiest life possible, it is important to follow your vet’s advice very carefully when it comes to your cat’s weight. Following a diet plan for your feline as well as increased playtime together should yield excellent results.