If you sleep away the hours of the day, never go outdoors, and cry for food at all hours, you are, very likely – a cat. More than 50% of the nation’s kitties are overweight or obese, according to a study from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. As in humans, cats carrying extra pounds of weight place more demands on their bodies. The health risks to overweight cats are serious. Overweight cats can be predisposed to diabetes, heart disease, joint disease, and other health issues. Cats who are obese also have difficulty in grooming.
We all want our feline friends to be happy and healthy. By taking an active role in their weight management we can achieve that goal. A weight loss plan for overweight cats should begin with the assistance of a veterinarian. The veterinarian may recommend a prescription formula for a reduced-calorie diet to allow safe weight loss while maintaining nutrition and appetite for the cat.
Just as in humans, exercise is a vital part of weight loss. Daily interactive play using a variety of kitty toys is a great way to provide entertainment, cat-human bonding, and exercise for the cat. Try a feeding ball, which dispenses kibble as a reward, to encourage play. This causes the cat to work for his or her food.
It is important for the entire family to be on board and help the kitty be successful in the weight loss journey. No sneaking treats underneath the table – no matter how sad those kitty eyes look. Weight loss in cats is a slow process, but with patience and persistence, your efforts will pay off and add to the quality of life for the kitty.
Feline Weight-Loss Study. Vetmed.vt.edu. (2020). Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://www.vetmed.vt.edu/news/closer-look/2019/fat-cat.asp.
Obesity | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Vet.cornell.edu. (2020). Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/obesity.