Feline obesity is growing and can result in severe consequences. This is because unhealthy weight can expose your cat to numerous medical issues, and finally result in a shorter life span.
So what is the next step to take if you have a fat cat? This is what we will be taking a look at in this article. But first, why is obesity bad? Let us find out below
Dangers Of Obesity In Cats
According to a study, overweight cats have more tendency to be male and neutered. Being obese was also linked with diseases like:
Indoor cats and those that are not as active also have a higher likelihood of being overweight. While dry diets and foods with more carbohydrates often take the blame for being the primary reason why cats get overweight, numerous studies have proven that this is a myth, and intake of calories is more crucial than the kind of food.
Similar to humans, obesity is a significant issue in cats. The sad news is that this does not seem to be getting any better. Lots of cat owners and vets who have utilized weight loss diets for felines which are typically low fat/ high fiber, find this method tedious because it usually does not offer reasonable weight loss.
Another method in preventing and treating obesity and overweight has to do with our knowledge of the basic nutritional requirements of felines and their feeding habits. How we feed our cats and the things we feed them tend to violate all the rules of proper feline nutrition.
If you are among the numerous individuals who have tried dieting for their cats to help them lose weight, and you still have a fat cat, what should be your next step?
This can be confusing for lots of people, and this is what we will be taking a look at in this article.
But first, what are a few things you should know about obesity in cats? Below are a few:
Overweight cats have 25% higher body weight than essential
Overweight cats have more tendency to have issues walking
They also tend to battle with diabetes alongside skin conditions
The overall welfare of the cat is minimized if the cat is overweight
Male cats which have been neutered, and living in little homes have more tendency to be overweight
What Do You Do If Your Cat Is Overweight?
If you have slipped up, and you already have a fat cat, what are the steps you can take to correct this?
Let us find out below:
Begin With Low-Carb Meals
This is even more significant for cants. Cats are obligate carnivores and carbs can result in diabetes, obesity and a host of other health issues.
Look for foods that consist of mostly protein, alongside a reasonable amount of low carbs and fat. Don’t try searching for low-fat meals for cats. They require fat in their meals to lose weight. Also, they have to lose weight gradually.
Utilize High-Tech Food Bowls
There are food bowls that you can program to feed cats in measured amounts. These are ideal for homes with multiple cats. There are equally bowls you can schedule to feed numerous cats in the house their daily allocation. What this implies is that they all take turns eating from the bowl.
Others function using the individual microchip of the cat. This implies that the bowl will open only for a precise cat’s microchip. However, these bowls are not cheap, but will undoubtedly offer you value for every penny spent.
By feeding cats in controlled amounts daily, it does not matter how the cats eat. But in the long run, it will reduce the bills you spend on the very to treat severe medical problems that can arise due to overeating. It can also be an effective means of helping your overweight cat slim down.
Ensure Food Is Not Too Easy To Access
A cat sitting all day beside his food bowl will be able to consume as he wants whenever he feels like it. This cat is more likely to have more weight than a cat that has to work for his food. This can be through hiking up some stairs or heading behind the house to access the food bowl.
If your cat has to work for his meals, he will be more likely to eat only when he is hungry. For cats with physical issues, ensure food is easy to access and try all you can to exercise your cat. The bodies of cats are developed to be active hunters and attaining food should require movement. It can be an excellent means of reducing the weight of your cat and ensuring he stays healthy.
Stop Free Feeding and Feed Twice A Day Instead
This may be less difficult to do using raw or canned foods as opposed to dry food. A cay has a higher tendency of nibbling on dry food because the taste is not that appealing, and they don’t want to consume too much at once.
If a cat consumes raw or canned food, he may consume a meal at a go. When the food is finished, it is finished. It is an excellent way of regulating the amounts of food which in turn reduces the weight of your cat.
Play With Your Cat
Even older cats will indulge you in playing if you find the right game or toy. Some cats motivated by food will also chase a treat or dried meat up the stairs or hallway.
This is another excellent method of helping your cat lose weight. That is not all, and you can equally offer cat trees where your cat can climb or teach your cat the game of fetch. Create or purchase toys that inspire exercise.
You would be able to use the natural hunting of your cat to aid him in losing weight. Hide various portions of her daily ration of food around the home. If you have a huge house, use a significant portion of the home. Be creative, but exercise caution. You don’t want your cat to be too overheated or exhausted. You also need to note that an older cat might not have the capacity to engage in vigorous exercise.
Utilizing various methods of rewards as opposed to food treats is ideal. This could range from;
If you are unable to resist an overweight cat who begs for meals at your dinner table, enclose the cat when it is time for dinner. Also, if there are numerous cats in your home, the cat who consistently wins the food competition has more tendency to be obese. If this is the situation, try separating your cats during mealtimes if you can.
Monitor How Often Your Cat Defecates
If your cat defecates more than once daily, you are probably feeding excessively. The body would be unable to lose weight unless it has the requirement for fat. Reduce the number of meals during feeding time to help your cat lose weight.
Make Use Of Cantaloupe
This may be the weirdest tip for controlling the weight you would come across, proposed by Dr. Drew Weigner. Lots of cats enjoy cantaloupe which consists of almost no calories and is quite safe for consumption. This can serve as a fantastic alternative to use as treats for overweight cats.
So what do you do if Dieting Does Not Work?
If you don’t notice any changes after dieting, your cat is most likely still overeating. Usually, weight retention is not linked to medical issues. So what other steps can you take if your cat is still fat even after dieting?
Below are a few:
Ensure Your Cat Is Properly Hydrated
Cats share some similarities with humans when eating. They will usually suffer from hunger and eat when they are only just thirsty. Providing constant access to water will reduce overeating in your cat, and if he can access water even when he is a little puckish, he is less likely to whine for food.
Asides from that, anytime your cat has a well-hydrated body, he will be better prepared for an active and healthy lifestyle. So ensuring your cat is appropriately hydrated offers nothing but benefits.
Restrict Access to Treats and Food
It is not ideal to let your cat have free, unlimited control over his food. Place his food for about 20 minutes, and if he has not consumed it, pick it up again. This will prevent him from eating at his leisure whenever he feels like it. It will also let you monitor just how much he is consuming.
You will certainly want to reduce the number of treats you offer your cat, but if you are providing treats to your cats, go for low-fat, healthy treats. However, you may observe that you can replace rewards with only a piece of his usual cat food. Also, ensure you don’t give your cat food to humans, irrespective of how much he begs.
Choose a Lean Cat Meal
Head to your vet and request recommendations on the type of cat food that is suitable for your cat, especially if your cat has any hidden health issues or medical history that may affect his dietary requirements. However, there are lots of cat foods for weight control that are ideal for the majority of cats.
Wet cat meals tend to have more calories, and cats tend to consume a larger amount of wet food so as to feel satisfied. So your cat might be eating the same or similar quantity of wet food as he would dry food, but the intake of calories would be more. If your cat is on a regular diet of wet food, switching to dry food may aid her in losing weight.
Get Him More Active
The good news is that there are numerous options that you can go with to ensure your cat is more active. Laser pointers can function in allowing your cat workout without the need for you to move much if that is an issue.
Another option that can inspire play in your cat is using sticks that have feathers at the end. You can equally select a play ball or other complicated cat toys to pique his curiosity. You also have the option of letting your cat out more, but this comes with the danger of him enhancing his intake of calories with prey he finds outdoors, so you need to be careful of this if you let your cat outdoors.
Sadly, you may observe that as your cat grows older, you will battle with inspiring him to move more than he has been used to. You may be unable to do many asides from physically taking him on walks using a leash, and even at that, you may have to deal with him defying this new routine. Do all you can to ensure your cat stays active from his youth till adulthood.
Irrespective of if your cat enjoys his diet or not, or if the diet fails altogether, you know what he requires to keep a healthy lifestyle, and if he battles with this, it is your duty to ensure he falls in line. While he may rule your heart, you have to ensure he has a healthy heart which implies a healthy diet. This way, you will have the capacity to enjoy the company of your cat for numerous years to come.