It seems that like people, cats are suffering from an obesity epidemic. And like us, the cause of excess weight gain in a cat is eating too much and not enough exercise!
Being overweight can lead to your cat suffering from many health problems. These include:
- liver disease and
Being overweight also reduces your cat’s ability to groom properly and move easily. These are both very important for a happy cats.
The cure for an overweight cat is simple. Reduce the amount of food they eat and increase the amount of exercise.
Weight Management Programs
The goal of a good weight management program is gradual weight loss. This is especially important in cats, because severe nutrient restriction can result in liver problems. As a guide, for most overweight cats, weight loss should be about 60 to 100 grams a week. However, it’s important to consult with your vet before putting puss on a diet to ensure that all health factors are taken into account.
Five Steps To Losing Weight
- Weigh your cat on accurate scales. This is best done at the vets, where staff can also advise you on the amount to feed, expected weight loss and general care.
- Ensure your cat is on a good diet. Special diet foods are recommended, as reducing the amount fed of a normal food may mean that the cat does not receive all the nutrients for good health. Special diets are also formulated to make the cat feel more full so they do not scavenge, or cry for food all the time.
- Divide meal portions. Smaller meals spread over the day will help to keep the hunger pangs away and is more satisfying for some cats.
- Cats should lose 1 to 1.5% of their initial weight per week. A good way to begin a weight-loss program is to carefully measure out how much your cat is presently eating, and reduce this by 30%. Reweigh the cat every week, and adjust the food amount to get this safe weight loss: your cat may need slightly more or less food. Cats who do not respond quickly should see their veterinarian for a special weight-loss program.
- Exercise Studies show that playing with your cat for just 15 to 20 minutes daily has huge beneficial effects in increasing activity and helping weight loss. Once your cat gets moving, weight loss becomes easier and easier. So grab some cat toys, look at our section exercise and play for ideas, and get playing.