If asked, which kind of cats you love to have at your home, you would probably say the ones that are fluffy, fat and big. Yeah because they are simply cute and lovable. Having a cute bubbly cat might make your day, but this might not sound healthy for a veterinarian. Obesity in cats is a growing trend these days and has a serious impact on your cat’s health and life expectancy. Being a cat owner, there are certain things you need to know about your furry fat cat. The following things will help your cat live longer and healthier.
- 70% of the cats in US are obese: The latest survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention in 2014 states that more than half the cats in US are overweight and that the number is rising. When they began the survey in 2007, there were 53% of cats who were overweight. The fact is cats are more likely to be overweight than dogs.
- Obesity in cats causes several other health problems: Cat obesity is directly linked to many other health problems like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and certain skin conditions. These are chronic diseases that require long term medical asistance and can affect your cat’s life. Also, obese cats are at a risk of developing arthritis due to the excess pounds put on their joints. If you keep your cat at an ideal weight, the chances that your cat will develop these chronic diseases is much less.
- Unaware of their pet’s weight issues: Almost all cat owners are unaware of the fact that their cat is obese. It is very important to know whether your cat is on a healthy weight, rather than waiting to be told by your vet, because its a lot easier to prevent weight issues than to reverse it.
- Determine your cat’s weight: An average domestic cat weighs between 8-12 pounds but it varies depending on breed and gender. If you look at your cat from above, his waist should look like an hourglass. If your cat looks like a straight tube from above or has his waist expanded out past his ribs, he is overweight. For long-haired cat owners whose waistline is packed with fur, get your hands on them and feel along the sides of the body. If you can feel ribs with a firm touch, your cat is in good shape. If you feel flab, then its time to put your cat on a diet.
- Keep an eye on his diet and exercise: Lack of exercise and unhealthy diets are what causes obesity in cats. It is important that you keep an eye on your cat’s diet and make him do exercises. If he doesn’t do, FORCE him to do.
- Carbs for cats?: The diet of a cat is simply loaded with proteins and less of carbs. However, the typical dry cat food is higher in carbohydrates than the natural diet of cats. If your cat is having trouble in losing weight, take him to a vet for trying a low carb diet.
- Feeding him all day can make your cat go fat: For a cat that is less active and stays all time indoors, feeding him with food throughout the day will make him put on. The best way to help your cat shed weight is to feed distinct meals at specific times. At least 2 meals a day is fine, says Dr. Debra Zoran – Professor and Veterinary nutritionist at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Ignore his overacting: Your cat is as tricky as you are. He knows your weaknesses and is good in acting to show that he is starving. As long as you are confirmed with a vet that you are feeding your cat a healthy amount, its safe to ignore them.
- Encourage your cat to exercise more: I think cats are the most lazy ones when compared to dogs. If you don’t have much time to spend with your cat playing, give him some cat toys that make your cat work for their food.
- Water is important: Cats aren’t as enthusiastic water drinkers as we humans are. But it is important that they get enough water for their health in general and to prevent the chances of developing some types of bladder stones.
Despite of all these reasons, even if your cat is not overweight, its a good thing to regularly check your cat’s weight. As we say, it is much easier to see a problem developing and change the habits early than it is to wait for the vet to say “Its too late”.
Originally posted 2016-02-11 00:00:44.