Knowing how to get your cat to lose weight isn’t always easy. Trying to ignore that pleading look in her eyes is impossible! My cat seems to suffer short term memory loss when it comes to food! Everytime I walk into the kitchen he sees it as a signal for food! Circling my legs and trying to trip me up lol!
The problem with many cat parents, especially newbies, is their precious fur babies soon get them trained. Yes, your cat is highly intelligent and knows a thing or two about training humans!
In this post you’ll discover how you can transform your chubby kitty into a lean, mean, hunter. You’ll learn how to tell if your cat is overweight, and why you need to take urgent action. Plus, common causes of obesity in cats. We’ll also look at health problems your cat may be at risk of if she’s very overweight. Also, we’ll touch on a few diets that may help your kitty shed a few pounds.
How to tell if your cat is overweight
Taking a look at your cat by standing above, you should be able to see a waist. Looking at her sideways, you should see an upward slant from ribs to back legs. A small sag in the tummy is commonly seen in middle aged to seniors, just as it is in people. However, large pouches of fat aren’t normal and your cat must lose weight.
If you have a long hair kitty it can be harder to tell if she’s overweight without feeling her. Watch the short video below and follow the simple steps outlined for a more accurate test.
Common reasons why your cat may be obese
The number one reason for obesity in cats is burning fewer calories than consumed. Inactivity and eating high calorie foods soon lead to a fat cat!
Feeding on demand is another common cause as I mentioned previously. This is often harder if you spend a lot of time at home. Cats are cunning and know exactly how to get what they want.
You may think your cat will know when to stop eating, but just like us, our pets are all different. While some thrive on regular small meals, others are better with two carefully portioned meals a day.
This is especially true if your cat eats fast. I’ve found that feeding small amounts of food to my cat throughout the day works best for me. I work from home and if I fed Alfie every time I went to make coffee he’d be the size of a house!
Always read feeding instructions on cans and packets. Go by the size and weight of your cat and use your judgement. Dry food tends to be higher in calories than wet food, so if your furry friend is gaining weight, cut back on kibbles.
Too many treats can lead to an expanding waistline. A few treats are fine, especially if you reward your cat for good behavior. However, just like cakes and biscuits for us, they should only be eaten in moderation.
Avoid getting into the habit of feeding your cat scraps from the dinner plate. It’s surprising how fast they learn to beg for leftovers!
Other reasons your cat may be overweight
There maybe other issues as to why your cat is piling on the pounds. One of the signs of diabetes or thyroid problems is weight gain. If your cat is eating normal portions of food and not getting extra treats from neighbors you should consider visiting a vet.
Pedigree cats are less prone to obesity than non-pedigrees or moggies. Also, neutered cats are more likely to gain weight as their metabolic rate decreases by about twenty percent.
Health risks of an overweight kitty
Carrying excess weight around is just as bad for our pets as it is for us, with very similar health risks. It can shorten lives by years as well as put a strain on the heart. Here are a few risks associated with obesity you don’t want you or your cat to suffer.
Joint damage and osteoarthritis
Obesity puts a huge strain on joints which can lead to the development of arthritis. Prevention is always better than cure, so if you notice your furry friend is looking more like a walking barrel than the lean hunter she once was, you need to take action.
Fatty liver disease and why it’s so dangerous for your cat
If your cat is very overweight she’ll have excessive amounts of fat cells in her body. While fat cells are vital, if too many are stored in the liver it can have damaging effects. Your cat’s liver filters toxins from blood, stores vital nutrients, as well as produces bile. An accumulation of large numbers of fat cells in the liver prevent it from working properly. Fatty liver disease in cats can be avoided by keeping an eye on her weight.
High blood pressure
It’s not just humans that suffer high blood pressure but our pets as well. If your kitty is carrying too much weight this will put a strain on her heart. While hypertension is more common in older cats, an overweight younger cat is still at risk.
How to get your cat to exercise
Obesity in cats is much rarer in those that go outside each day. Running up trees, chasing prey or other cats, expends energy. As we all know, daily exercise burns calories and the same applies to your cat. If your kitty spends a lot of time indoors she’ll need you to create an exercise regime for her. This means playing with her for at least 10 minutes twice a day. Knowing how to get your cat to exercise could save her life. All you need are a few simple toys such as a ball, feather wand, or laser pointer.
If you live on a main road or unsafe area, providing you have a garden, you could consider getting a cat run. It’s not the same as being free to wander but will at least allow your cat to exercise.
If you have the space indoors, you could always get a cat wheel. It’s like an exercise bike for cats and gets them active. The only downside is, it can take a lot of patience, and lots of treats to get your kitty motivated!
How to get your cat to eat less
Main reasons your cat may be overeating are boredom, or lack of nutrition. Worrying for food is hard to ignore, and you can easily feel like the meanest cat parent by ignoring kitty’s demands!
Never overfeed your cat, and as previously mentioned, always follow feeding guidelines. Unfortunately, many cheap cat foods lack proper nutrition. Bargain basement cat food is never a good idea. You may save a few pennies, but your cat may suffer the consequences over time.
It’s likely your feline companion won’t feel satisfied after a bowl of low quality food, just as you won’t feel satisfied after eating a packet of crisps, or bar of chocolate. The body will crave more food until it’s absorbed the required nutrients.
Many low grade cat foods are also high in carbohydrates, especially dried foods. Cats don’t need large amounts of carbs in their diet, and can exist on very little. While carbs have some health benefits, they’re not essential. Cats use protein for energy more than carbs, and it’s recommended that your cat’s diet should be made up of 25% protein.
Many dried foods such as kibbles contain over 55% carbohydrates. Foods are also often bulked out with fillers such as grain and cereals. These are devoid of nutrition, leaving your cat still feeling hungry.
Treating your cat to high quality food may seem expensive, but remember, she won’t need as much. You may even find yourself saving money over the long term. You’ll also have the benefit of a healthier, happier kitty! You could even try your hand at making your own cat food!
Best weight loss foods for cats
Here are a few weight loss foods for cats your kitty may enjoy. Though they’re dry foods which normally contain high levels of fat, these are different, and made from natural ingredients.
Blue Buffalo Healthy Living cat food have several varieties on offer, and all are high in protein which your cat needs.
Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
Natural adult dry cat food is primarily made from real meat which is great news as it’s exactly what your kitty would eat naturally in the wild. Added vitamins and minerals support your cat’s overall health and wellbeing.
It’s advertised as having no artificial flavorings or colors, and no corn, soy, or wheat. This is good news for your tubby kitty as she’ll only be eating wholesome food. This will help her feel full and less likely to worry you for more!
You have a choice of 3 bag sizes, and each one has a ziplock which makes storing and keeping the food fresh easy. Some mention improvements in their cat’s coat as well as increased energy.
A few buyers reported their cat’s didn’t like the food and refused to eat it. However, we all know how finicky our fur babies can be at times!
Average rating 4.3 out of 5
Price 3lb- $11.98 7lb- $16.86 15lb-$33.98
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Weight Control Dry Cat Food, Chicken
Blue Buffalo adult weight control is specially formulated to maintain a healthy weight in your kitty. If your cat is already overweight, this food may be ideal. Boned chicken is the primary ingredient, with added L-Carnitine. This supplement has been shown to have a metabolic effect in cats, promoting weight loss.
Price 11 lb £163.28
Learning how to get your cat to lose weight
It can be challenging to find that slim kitty you bought home from the shelter! It’s normal to want to spoil your cat and give her the love and care she deserves. However, once your adopted cat has reached a healthy weight you must resist the urge to overfeed. Doing so will shorten her life, and place her at risk from obese related diseases.
In this article you learned how to tell if your cat is overweight and steps you can take to help her lose that paunch. We’ve looked at risks your kitty faces unless she sheds those pounds, plus some of the best foods to give her.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)