Just as with humans, obesity in cats can pose serious pet health risks. Unfortunately, over the past several decades we have witnessed a steep increase in the number of obese cats, and as the problem becomes more common, pet owners need to be concerned about diabetes, hepatic lipidosis, arthritis, and a whole host of related illnesses. Indeed, today there are more obese and overweight cats in North America than cats of normal weight and veterinarians frequently warn cat owners about the risks of excess weight for cats.
Without harping on the possible outcomes for an obese cat, let’s just jump right to what we can do for our cats. If you have an overweight or obese cat, you need to help her get her weight under control. Obviously, the best way to oversee a cat losing weight is through diet and exercise, just as a human would do. However, you also need to be careful to implement changes slowly as sudden changes in diet and exercise may also have adverse effects on your cat. Nevertheless, the problem always comes down to burning more calories than are consumed, whether you are a cat, dog, human, or basically any other kind of animal.
The main cause of feline obesity is certainly overeating. Nowadays, many cat owners leave a dish of food out for the cat at all times. While many cats will effectively regulate their eating habits, many will not and obesity occurs. Instead, you should feed your cat two to four small portions of food daily to control their caloric intake. In addition, cats cannot process carbohydrates as humans do because they are carnivores. As such, you should try to find a cat food that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein as this is much more similar to their natural diet.
Finally, exercise is also important for your obese cat. Cats are usually very good at keeping themselves active but for sedentary cats consider investing in some interactive play toys. Spend time playing with your cat to increase their exercise levels but also to improve bonding. And remember, getting your obese cat’s weight under control will require time and patience so don’t give up!