Some cats are prone to obesity and need their human owners’ intervention to prevent it from becoming a health risk. Overweight cats are prone to many potential conditions caused by obesity, including high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and diabetes.
Regardless of their body shape, you love your kitty and want the best for them. Obesity in cats is often caused by bad eating habits, more challenging to break the longer they have been in practice. Therefore, if your feline shows signs of weight gain, act immediately to get it under control. Here are some ideas for helping your cat lose a few pounds and get down to its ideal weight:
Get to grips with this issue
You might not see the problem with a few extra pounds on your kitty, but, as mentioned before, it can be detrimental to its health. Overweight cats tend to have a shorter lifespan than their trimmer counterparts. If you want your cat to be around for as long as possible, keep its weight ideal. Overweight cats cannot groom themselves properly. Cats are fastidiously clean and well-known self-groomers. A lack of grooming can lead to a dull, lusterless coat and excessive shedding. If your cat ingests some of that hair, it leads to hairball formation. Using organic hairball treats ensures the cat’s fur remains glossy and healthy and prevents shedding. You can choose the best treats and other supplements from leading brands like Hill’s, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, Iams or Purin.
The additional weight obese felines carry places a significant strain on their joints, leading to chronic inflammation and arthritis. Both are painful conditions that adversely affect a cat’s quality of life. Once you accept that your feline being overweight is unhealthy, act without delay. The good news is that owners can help their cats lose weight by implementing a few simple measures.
Cats that get to graze from a food bowl that owners keep topping up often become overweight. They do not know when they have had enough to eat and will keep munching because the food is available. The first step a cat owner should take is to stop this open-ended feeding. It is an unhealthy, enabling behavior that is within the owner’s control to stop.
Mealtimes should be scheduled and include a routine. Cats are creatures of habit, and routines appeal to them. The feline should be given limited access to a single portion of food for a short while. Afterward, its owner should take the food bowl and put it out of their cat’s reach. This limits how much your kitty eats each day. Many cat owners find feeding their cat smaller meals more frequently, such as twice a day, helps them lose weight. Some cats might not appreciate this change to mealtimes and how they work. However, they will adapt within a week or two.
Cats need a balanced diet, and eating human food or loads of treats will not provide it. Owners should feed their felines proper cat food that contains the necessary dietary requirements. The most important food group for cats is protein, often found in the fish and meat that cats favor. Cat food manufacturers use protein sources as their product’s primary ingredient. Owners should read the label and nutritional information on their preferred cat food brand and compare it with others.
A cat may become overweight as they age, and offering regular cat food will not help the situation. Owners should buy food appropriate to the cat’s age as it contains the recommended amount of each food group to suit its digestive, mobility, and energy levels. Kittens need more energy than older cats, so their food needs to contain more protein. Always choose cat food according to your kitty’s age.
Cat food comes in three forms: dry, semi-moist, and wet. The difference lies in how much liquid each contains, with dry cat food containing the least and wet food including the most. Cats need to get enough fluids from their food as most are not enthusiastic water drinkers. Cats do not gulp water as dogs do. Felines rely on their food to supply their water intake needs.
Many cats experience bladder and kidney problems because they do not get enough fluids. This leads to infection and disease. The bladder and kidneys are vital parts of the excretory system. When they do not function well, waste is not flushed from the cat’s body, leading to weight gain. Most cat owners find success when combining the different cat food types.
Like humans, cats experience weight loss benefits when they get sufficient exercise. Cats must remain active to keep their weight at an acceptable level. They exercise through play, such as stalking and pouncing on ‘prey’. Provide your feline with toys that stimulate their minds and bodies, requiring them to move around frequently.
Cats also exercise by climbing and jumping. Having a cat tree with different levels and a scratching post is ideal to ensure your cat is getting enough exercise.