How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight
Cat owners everywhere know that our feline friends are absolutely brilliant at getting what they want. Unfortunately, the pattern of giving into their whims can lead to overfeeding. Overweight cats are at higher risk for developing all sorts of health problems, most of which are preventable.
We are able to develop customized feeding instructions, based on the cat’s health needs, once we examine them and determine an ideal body weight. We will also recommend a food specifically formulated for your cat’s weight loss while maintaining muscle mass, which often declines with age.
If your little fluff is a bit wider or heavier than they used to be, we can help your cat lose weight!
Before It Is Too Late
Considering that more than half of all cats are heavier than they should be, it may be time to make some changes to your cat’s routine. Maintaining a healthy weight is ideal to prevent weight-related health problems, but helping your cat lose weight they don’t need is second best.
Why It Matters
Diabetes, osetoarthritis, liver disease, heart disease, skin infections, circulatory conditions, and cancer are just a few of the risks facing obese cats. As they age, senior cats may have more health challenges if they are overweight.
Cat Weight Loss: Slow, but Fast
When they are 15-20% over their “ideal” body weight, a cat is considered overweight or obese. We use the Body Condition Score (BCS) to help us understand a cat’s ideal body size and shape. On a scale of 1-9, a cat’s optimal grade would be about 5.
We take note of your cat’s weight and appearance at every exam. If their BCS score is over 5-6, we might suggest ways to help your cat lose weight. We’ll rule out underlying medical conditions that may be contributing, and discuss their eating habits and food preferences.
The Obvious Choice
Cats gain weight when they consume too many calories and don’t burn them off. The easiest way to help your cat lose weight is to restrict their daily caloric intake. It is critical not to starve your cat in order to lose extra weight. It is not a process that happens overnight, and you don’t want your cat to lose essential muscle mass.
A New Routine
Free-feeding can undermine your goal. Choose 2-4 small meal times every day and stick to them. Measure their portions precisely.
We encourage you to limit how many snacks or treats they enjoy every day. Treats reward them for their cuteness, but an overweight cat will equally respond to extra affection and attention. Snuggle and play with them to distract them from what they really don’t need.
Help Your Cat Lose Weight
Kittens love to play and get a little crazy, but as cats age they do slow down a bit. This doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t enjoy a little directed physical activity. Invent games or sports that you can do together. If your cat likes catnip, employ it in order to get them moving. Exercise your cat 2-3 times a week for 10 minutes a day. You may eventually play together every day for 15 minutes at a time.
Once your cat’s weight reaches the right range on the BCS, you will need to help them maintain it. We can discuss appropriate changes if necessary. As long as they are getting all of the nutritional and exercise needs met, you are doing your part to keep them healthy and happy.
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