Keeping your cats weight in check
Your cats not not big boned
Although both dogs and cats provide love and companionship, they are two very different creatures. For instance, weight concerns are sometimes greater in cats than in dogs. The reason is that dogs have the opportunity to go outside to play and exercise where as indoor cats are limited. If you have a cat that lives inside, we strongly recommend keeping your cat’s weight in check. Otherwise, a problem of obesity could develop, which would lead to an array of health issues.
Risks of an Overweight Cat
We wanted to start by listing some of the more serious risks associated with an overweight cat. Unfortunately, as they put on weight they tend to look cute and cuddly but left unchecked, the problem can spiral out of control very quickly. However, learning about the risks could be used as a motivator for preventing a problem from developing.
- Diabetes Mellitus – Also known as “sugar diabetes”, this is one of the most common risks of an overweight cat. In fact, the risk level for an overweight or obese cat is up to four times greater than a normal weight cat for developing this particular disease. In a healthy cat secretion of insulin increases as a response to an increase in blood glucose. However, when the amount of insulin needed exceeds what the body can produce, Diabetes Melllitus develops.
- Liver Disease – The official medical term for this illness is Hepatic Lipidosis, which means there is too much fat stored in the liver. While this too is very common among overweight and obese cats, if not corrected it can lead to complete organ failure.
- Arthritis / Lameness – Another reason for keeping their weight in check is the risk of arthritis and/or lameness. For this, the risk level for an overweight or obese cat is between three and five times of their normal weight. For one thing, arthritis is painful and it reduces mobility but in the case of lameness, the feline would have a very difficult, if not impossible time getting around.
- Skin Disorders – Cats can also develop a variety of skin disorders in direct correlation to excessive weight. For instance, feline acne, dry skin, and flaky skin are the most prevalent. According to experts, cats that carry around extra weight have a 50% greater chance of developing some type of non-allergenic skin disorder than a normal cat.
Other aspects of a heavy cat include diminished quality of life and even shortened lifespan. As a responsible pet owner, the best thing you can do is start keeping your cat’s weight in check. As soon as you notice a change you want to take appropriate action. Keep in mind that if the problem has already developed you still have viable solution.
We recommend having your cat checked by a reputable veterinarian. This would give you a better understanding of the problem but also depth of the problem. The examination would also make it possible for the veterinarian to identify any underlying health risks and devise an appropriate treatment plan.
One of the first things you may want to do is switch your cat to a low-fat diet. Again, the veterinarian could make suggestions but some of the top choices include:
- Annamaet Feline Chicken and Fish Original Formula
- Diamond Naturals Indoor Cat
- Eukanuba Weight Control
- GoodLife Chicken Recipe
- Iams Natural – Healthy Naturals Adult with Atlantic Salmon
Along with changing your cat’s diet, the following tips would help get your cat’s weight problem under control but also make it easier for your pet to maintain a healthy weight.
- Never overfill the food dish
- Avoid giving your cat people food, especially anything greasy
- Follow the veterinarian’s recommend quantity of food even if your cat demands more
- Consider an automatic cat feeder if you work outside the home
- Play games using an electronic mouse, battery operated mouse in a ball, laser pointer, or a simple feather on a stick
One of the biggest challenges with cats is their persistent begging. In most cases, this is the exact reason the weight problem began in the first place – the cat begs and a treat is offered. It can be hard to turn the cat away but for the sake of his health it is essential to offer correct food portions. There is no need to write down your pet’s weight when trying to keep your cat’s weight in check but it would be essential to pay attention to noticeable changes since things can worsen very quickly.