Get Your Fat Cat Fit: Simple Steps for a Healthy Weight
Being a cat parent is one of life's greatest joys! Watching your feline companion play, cuddle, and purr brings immense happiness. But, as a responsible pet parent, it's essential to ensure that your cat is at a healthy weight. Obesity in cats can lead to severe health issues, and that's why we've created this guide to help you understand the signs of an overweight cat, the dangers of obesity, and the steps you can take to help your feline lose weight and stay healthy.
Is my cat overweight?
Are you worried that your beloved feline might be carrying a few extra pounds? You're not alone - with an estimated 60% of cats in the US being overweight or obese, it's a growing concern. But how do you know if your cat is too chubby? Here are some ways to tell:
Feel Their Ribs
Your cat should have an hourglass shape when viewed from above. If you can't feel their ribs easily when you run your hands along their sides, they may be overweight.
Check Their Waistline
From the side, your cat should have an indentation at their waist. If they don't have one, they may be carrying too much weight.
Look at Their Profile
When looking at your cat from the side, the abdomen should curve up slightly from the ribcage to the hind legs. If it’s straight or sagging, this could be a sign of obesity.
Watch Their Activity Levels
A healthy cat should be active and playful. If they are less active than usual or seem to tire easily, this could be a sign that they are carrying too much weight.
Are overweight cats unhealthy?
While extra cuddles and treats are always appreciated, carrying a few extra pounds can lead to serious health issues down the road. Here are some of the problems that can arise from an overweight cat.
One of the most common issues that overweight cats face is joint pain. Just like us, cats with extra weight on their bodies can experience arthritis and other joint problems. The extra weight puts more strain on the cat’s joints, leading to pain and stiffness when they try to move around.
Obesity can also make it harder for cats to breathe properly. Extra weight can put pressure on the chest and lungs, causing difficulty breathing or even asthma-like symptoms. If your cat is having difficulty breathing, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible to prevent further complications.
Skin and Coat Issues
Cats that are overweight are more likely to develop skin and coat issues. The extra fat in their bodies can clog pores and lead to skin infections, dandruff, and hair loss. Additionally, an overweight cat’s fur may be duller and less shiny due to the lack of nutrients in their diet.
Overweight cats are more likely to suffer from congestive heart failure. This is because the extra fat on their bodies puts additional stress on their cardiovascular system, leading to higher blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
How to help a cat lose weight?
As a cat parent, you want your cat to be healthy, happy, and full of energy. But if your cat is overweight, it can be hard to know the best way to help them lose the extra weight. Don't worry - we have some tips that can help! With some changes to your cat's diet, activity level, and lifestyle, your kitty can get back on track to a healthier life.
Consult with your vet
Your first step should be scheduling an appointment with your vet to review your cat's medical records and physically evaluate them to determine the best diet and exercise plan.
Pick the perfect food
Once your vet gives you the go-ahead, it's time to choose the right food for your cat. Look for a high-protein, low-calorie option specifically designed for weight loss. Once you’ve selected the right food, stick with it, and don’t give in to your cat’s begging for table scraps or treats.
Feed the Right Portions
Accurately portion out your cat's meals according to their individual needs. Use a measuring cup or scale and follow the instructions on the food label. Don’t be tempted to give more than the recommended amount; it may seem like a loving gesture, but it could lead to weight gain instead of loss.
Monitor Food Intake
Keep an eye on how much your cat is eating, as well as any snacks or treats they may be sneaking in between meals. Make sure that everyone in the family is aware of the new diet and that they are not providing your kitty with any unauthorized treats or snacks.
Regular physical activity is essential for weight management. Encourage your cat to exercise through interactive play using toys such as feather wands, laser pointers, or puzzle feeders. You can also take your cat on short walks using a leash and harness or create an indoor obstacle course with cardboard boxes and tunnels.
Supplements such as probiotics or omega-3 fatty acids can help your cat feel fuller for longer and boost their metabolism, which will help them burn more calories and lose weight faster. Talk to your vet before giving any supplements to your cat, as they should be tailored specifically to their health needs.
Hide treats and toys
To keep your cat from getting bored and overeating, hide treats and toys around the house for them to find. This not only gives them something stimulating to do but also provides them with a reward for their efforts! Providing your cat with these rewards can help them to stay active and avoid overindulging in food.
Monitoring your cat’s weight and body condition score regularly is critical for determining whether their diet and exercise plan are working. Try weighing them every week or two (if possible) until they reach their ideal weight, then switch to monthly weigh-ins once they have reached their goal.
Unleash the key to your cat's optimal health and happiness! You now have the tools to effortlessly help your furry friend achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle. With just a few modifications, you can make a substantial impact on your cat's well-being. Embrace the ease of keeping your cat in tip-top shape with balanced meals, lively playtime, and diligent weight monitoring. Your cherished feline deserves the best, and it all starts with you!