Obesity and Cats

Obesity is a common problem in cats. The extra weight can stress the body and increases the risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain. Obesity happens when cats take in more calories than they burn, like humans. The extra calories become fat. In many cases, it seems this is because of overfeeding or the cat has stopped playing around like he used to due to changes like weather, age, or even just a new apartment or house.
If you think your cat is obese, you might be right. Check if you can feel the backbone and ribs. They don’t need to be sticking out because that could indicate a cat is too thin. If you can’t feel your pet’s ribs without pressing, there is a good chance your cat is obese. Also, you should notice if your cat has a “waist” or is just tube shaped when looking down at him. Talk to your vet about what to do to help keep your cat an ideal weight.

3 Ways to Trim the Fat

Correct Diet 
Work with your veterinarian to determine your pet’s caloric requirements, find a good food that is lower in calories, and work out how much to feed your cat each day. The diet should contain a normal level of the type of fat that prevents the skin and coat from drying out and looking dull, which can happen sometimes on diets.
 
Exercise
Increasing physical activity burns calories, reduces appetite, changes body composition and will increase your pet’s resting metabolic rate. If your pet has become lazy, try some new toys and make play time a regular activity throughout the week. If you spent 10 minutes twice a day playing, you may see changes in body composition after a few weeks. Maybe your cat would love a cat tower to climb up and look out the window. Investing a few bucks in some stuff could pay off in the long run.

Owner Behavior Modification 
A successful weight management program requires permanent changes in the behaviors that have allowed the pet to become overweight. Perhaps you are giving your pet too many treats, for example, or not giving him enough opportunities to exercise. Incorporate some new routines into your day with your cat and stay committed. 
 

Are you committed to your pet’s weight loss? Here are some important things you can do:

  • Feed your pet small meals throughout the day instead of one or two big meals.
  • Feed all meals and treats in the pet’s bowl only.
  • Reduce snacks or treats.
  • Provide non-food related attention.

Image from Animal planet

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