Cat too fat? Try a cat weight loss program
Feline obesity is increasingly common. While cats can’t order cheeseburgers (no, you can’t haz!) or go to the deli for two scoops of chopped liver, owners are usually the ones responsible for a cat’s overeating. It’s hard to resist a hungry cat. It’s the norm to leave food in the bowl at all times, because most cats just nibble. But some cats just don’t know when to stop.
To determine whether kitty is obese, we need to know what a healthy weight is. Check with your vet. The cat should be lean, without too much belly fat. A feline spayed cat will have a hanging belly; that’s not fat, it’s just skin.
Generally speaking, your cat needs to be weighed at least monthly until a healthy weight is reached. The average cat weight in pounds is 6-10 lbs. and the average cat weight in kg is 2.7 to 4.5 kg.
The ideal cat weight loss program is a combination of diet, exercise, getting medical diagnoses, and emotional support. Yes, it’s not any different than with humans. But there’s no feline Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons. Yet.
Factors in feline weight gain
Overeating could be caused by depression, loneliness, or something in a cat’s background, just as with people. Cats need attention and stimulation. You can distract them from food with toys and affection. Don’t roughhouse, though, cats are smaller than you and could get hurt or upset.
Cats can get diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver disease, which are serious ailments. Try to avoid these by making sure your cat is a healthy weight and gets enough exercise.
Carbs and cats
Cats get addicted to carby food, just like humans. Cats don’t need grain or potatoes, which are often added as filler to cat food. Cats can get addicted to the carbs of dry food. Wet food is better for them. There are some healthier dry foods, but high-quality canned food is recommended. Avoid cat food cans that contain BPA, an insulin disruptor that could be a factor in cat diabetes.
Cats can exercise by themselves, but if your cat is failing to find enough exercise you will have to help them out. You may not notice that he is eating a lot because you want to keep food in his bowl so you keep adding food. Keep track of how much you are putting in and serve regular portions. If your cat is meowing, she might want to play, cuddle or have a small cat treat, not necessarily more food. Be sure she is drinking enough water.
Is your cat a hunter?
If you are letting your cat out, he may be catching his own food, so you may not want to let him out so much if you notice him putting on weight, that is, unless your home has mice.
Cats need a place to run around to get their natural exercise. Besides a kitty gym, which can be costly, you can stack up boxes so that she can jump up onto places such as shelves and cabinets, if you don’t mind them climbing. Get them plenty of cat toys and keep them stimulated. Encourage safe play with other pets and family members.
Each cat is an individual and could require adjustments in diet or routine. While fat cats are certainly cute and roly-poly, health comes first. Your cat will thank you.
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