Overweight Cats
Are At Risk

Overweight cats are not healthy cats.

Is your cat a fat feline, a pudgy puss or a tubby tabby? Fat cats may look cute to some of us but carrying superfluous weight is not healthy for cats, just the same as it isn't for humans!

Some estimates claim that up to 40% of domestic cats are medically obese, obesity being defined as having 20% or more excess body weight.

Those overweight felines that do not fall into the obese category though are still very much at risk of poor health and a shortened life.

Fat cats are at risk for liver disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as arthritis. These chronic diseases reduce a cat's quality of life and increase their owners vet bills.

Simply put, fat cats take in more calories (energy) than they use up.

This usually means that they are both eating too much and exercising too little.

Chubby cats run the risk of many health problems including Feline Diabetes, breathing difficulties, lower urinary tract disease, arthritis, non-allergic skin conditions, and heart and liver disease.

A cat that is fat does not have the Feline Life Expectancy as a cat with the correct body weight.

Your Vet Can Help

If you suspect that your cat is overweight, or obese, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to ascertain just how much excess weight your cat is carrying and the root causes of it.

Most likely the weight problem will not be a medical one but due to your pet's bad feeding habits and your vet will likely make recommendations for you.

Try your cat on food that is low in calories but high in volume (to make your pet feel full) or mix in a bulking agent with her regular food.

Cutting down on the size of the portions is good, but do it gradually. For one thing rapid weight loss is not good and with a gradual reduction your cat's stomach will learn to expect less food - she will be less likely to beg for food after a meal.

overweight catThis cat needs to lose its excess weight.

Try and avoid feeding your cat only dried food, instead mix it with canned food.

Dry cat food is very calorie dense - a tiny portion gives your cat all her energy for the day, but kitty will not feel full, so she will still seek food.

Most dry cat food will contain up to 50% carbohydrates, some cheaper brands may contain even more.

Cats do not actually need carbohydrates and too many can, in fact, be bad for them. Changing from a high carbohydrate food with grains to a grain-free cat food may be all your cat needs to lose the fat.

Remove food that you have left out if it has not been eaten within 30 minutes. By the that time your cat will have eaten what she needs.

If you leave the food out your cat is likely to go back and snack out of boredom - an easy way for her to become overweight.

Fresh water should be left out for your cat at all times though.

Treats and tidbits are a no no, especially food meant for humans.

Cats are less likely than dogs to beg for the food you are eating, but some cats do. If your kitty is one then lock her out of the room while you eat, harsh maybe but effective.

Well meaning neighbors may give your cat tidbits when she comes mooching around.

Nothing for it but to politely but firmly ask them to stop doing that. Tell them that you don't want your feline to be one of the neighborhoods' overweight cats and that you are restricting her calorie intake.

One of the Gang is Overweight

Often one cat in a multi-cat household will finish off the food the other cats leave, that cat will likely be overweight because of the habit.

The best answer to this problem is to leave meals for different cats in different rooms and to remove any bowls with leftover food when your cats have finished eating.

If your chubby cat is unable to climb because of her weight you could try leaving your fitter cat's bowl where your overweight cat can't reach it.

Does she just want attention?

If your cat comes to you for attention, do you automatically assume that she is craving food? Perhaps all that your cat is seeking is a little petting.

It is possible that you have always assumed that kitty is asking for more food to be put in her bowl or for a tasty treat, perhaps you give in to what you assume she wants.

Your cat has become accustomed to this sequence - she goes to you for affection, you respond by giving her food. Her attention is diverted from getting affection to the food.

You think that your pet is just a cupboard lover so you end up with an overweight cat.

Make petting the attention that you give her, not food. Better still, give your cat some attention by playing with her . . .

Playtime for overweight cats.

Cats are by nature hunters. Hunting involves much physical activity that burns a lot of calories.

Domestic cats have their humans do the hunting for them by handing them their kill on a plate, no energy is used, no calories burned. Result - overweight cats.

Cats that are kept confined indoors, to keep them safe, are particularly apt to put on weight through inactivity.

The mixture of too many calories and too little activity invariably leads to overweight cats.

Setting aside a little time each day for Playing with your Cat will go a long way to combat this problem.

Make good use of Interactive Cat Toys, a catnip ball or a toy swinging from a pole will give your cat plenty of fat burning exercise. Keep a selection of toys but use only three or four of them in each play session, this will help keep the playtime interesting for kitty.

Don't make the play sessions too long however, 15 minutes should be enough, you don't want to exhaust your cat.

Cats that have outside access are less likely to become overweight cats, they have far more opportunity for exercise, by hunting prey or running from unattended dogs. Even just prowling around her territory will help towards keeping a cat trim.

However please don't assume that because your cat goes outside she won't benefit from play sessions with you.

Playing not only helps your cat burn off weight but also helps relieve boredom. Just like people, cats will overeat for no other reason than they have nothing else to do.

Altered Cats - Weight Gain?

The theory is that Neutered or Spayed cats should not gain weight. The snag here is that altered cats require about a third less calories than unaltered ones.

If you feed your neutered cat the same amount of calories as you did before it was altered it will become overweight. Mix in a bulking agent to your cat's food, and reduce the calories, so she feels just as full.

Cats Should Not Crash Diet

How many times have you heard that crash dieting is not good? Same goes for overweight cats, cut down on your cat's food intake gradually, accelerated weight loss is, in fact, dangerous for cats. The idea is to re-educate your cat's stomach.

Work at reducing your pudgy cat's weight. It will take effort and patience, but the end result will be worth it.

Cats that are at their correct weight are not only healthier and fitter, but also a lot more fun than overweight cats.

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