Obesity in Cats
Cats tend to be very inactive, and many indoor cats are overfed. This can cause them to gain extra unnecessary weight. Once they are overweight, it can be frustrating to get the weight off of them.
Overweight cats can be prone to a multitude of diseases including: diabetes, arthritis, urinary blockage, and/or hip dysplasia. Decreasing your cat’s weight can be hard on you and your cat, but it’s necessary to keep them in good health. Always be sure to consult your veterinarian to be sure that there is no medical reason your cat is gaining weight.
Here are a few simple ways to help your cat lose weight:
- Decrease the amount you are feeding of your current food. Most indoor cats need about ½ cup of food total throughout the day (including treats). Be sure to decrease the number of treats you are feeding as some are high in calories. It can also be helpful to keep a food journal in the home for everyone in the family to write what amount of food and/or treats they gave your cat. You may be surprised at how many treats your cat is getting every day.
- Switch to a light or low calorie version of a high quality diet. High quality diets are highly digestible. Low quality foods tend to have a large amount of unnecessary calories for your cat. Purina Pro Plan makes a variety of great diets for cats.
- Help your cat get more exercise. If you play with your cat with an interactive toy that they love, it can help you strengthen your bond while getting your cat up and moving to help burn calories.
- Try the “No Bowl” feeding system. This can be a fun and pleasant experience for your cat. It allows them to hunt for their food so that they are getting exercise while allowing them to eat smaller portions. This system turns meal times into a game for them.
- If your cat is severely overweight and you are having trouble getting it under control, you veterinarian may recommend a prescription weight loss food. These diets help increase their metabolism while allowing them to eat more. With this prescription food, it is best fed exclusively, which means that you would need to cut out the extra treats you are feeding.
If you have any questions about this article or need help managing your cat’s weight, please call us at 920-498-2808 or email us at Packerland@packvet.com.