Just like humans, cat obesity is the number one nutritional disorder in cats today in the U.S. The extra weight predisposes pets to have a higher risk of many health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, and many more. Obesity in cats can also increase the risks of anesthesia and surgical complications. It is very important to acknowledge when your kitty is growing too heavy and make the necessary dietary changes your kitty needs. Prevention is the key from keeping your cat from getting obese.
A cat is too fat if you cannot feel your kitty’s ribs without having to probe your fingers through its fleshy fur. Obese cats may also have a sagging paunch on their bellies, and bulges around the neck. A physical examination by your vet is the best way to assess your kitty’s body condition; this may determine important underlying medical conditions that might be contributing to the cat obesity.
Most of the time obesity occurs for the same reason why people become over weight: too much food and too little exercise. Some cats just don’t have an off switch when it comes to their appetites. Some cats will overeat if you leave too much dry food out as in free-feeding. Most of the commercial dry cat foods have a large amount of carbohydrates. So, just like in humans, cats will get addicted to it, so much that they will on eat dry food and throw a fit if the food is change to a higher protein brand or soft food. This can cause diabetes or inflammatory diseases like arthritis. If you observe this in your cat start measuring and leave out only the recommended daily amount.
To help your cat lose weight:
• Feed in timed meals ; do not leave food out all the time. Put the food out for 30-45minutes two to three times a day. Cats will adapt to this feeding schedule quickly.
• Feed more wet food . Cat obesity is usually causes by eating too much dry food. Dry food is filled with carbohydrate fillers. It is easy for cats to become addicted to dry food, just like how humans become addicted to the “supersized” McDonalds French fries. If your kitty needs significant weight loss feed her 100% canned food.
• Play with your kitty. Laser lights and cat toys are great for exercising your cat. This will also give your kitty more loving attention making her happy. Love and attention will also focus her more to you and not the food bowl.