Obesity is on the rise in felines.  It becomes a problem because owners often fail to properly manage their cats’ diets and make sure they get enough exercise.  Excess fat make cats more likely to develop several dangerous health conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Skin conditions

Overweight cats are also more difficult and risky for veterinarians to operate on, so you want to do as much as possible to prevent obesity.  There are 4 main factors that cause the problem, listed below.

1)      Overeating.  Cats that are given too much food are more likely to become obese.  This includes cat food and people food.

2)      Breed.  Some breeds are more likely to be overweight than others.  For example, mixed-breeds have more obesity in their genes as well as short-haired felines.

3)      Neutering.  Cats that have been spayed or neutered are simply more susceptible to becoming obese.

4)      Inactivity.  Pets kept indoors at all times are more likely to have weight issues than cats kept in large homes or those allowed to roam outdoors. 

Do you think your cat is obese?  There are plenty of things you can do to help her lose weight, starting with her diet.  First of all, you should provide wet food rather than dry because cats need to consume more protein than carbohydrates since they are natural carnivores.  You also need to control the portion size of the meals that you feed your cat.  You should start putting down food only twice a day, about 8 to 12 hours apart.  Ask your vet about the proper amount of food for your cat, which will vary.  It’s important to know that milk is not healthy for cats, so if you provide yours with it, you should replace it with water.

Some other steps you can take to help your cat lose weight include:

  • Limit treats.  Don’t give her too many kitty treats or table scraps, no matter how bad she wants them.  This will just cause her to gain more weight.
  • Play with them often.  This will help increase your cat’s activity level.
  • Give them their own toys.  A cat that has plenty of toys will be more active and less likely to overeat.  

Hopefully after reading the tips, your cat will be well on her way to a healthy weight.  Remember to ask your veterinarian if you have further questions.  They can help you establish a plan to make your cat healthier.