Obesity in cats’ is becoming an ongoing problem. Today we will look at the factors contributing to feline obesity and what a person can do about it.
Poor diets and a sedentary lifestyle can promote obesity in cats’.
Recognizing Feline Obesity
To determine if your cat is overweight it is easy to start just by handling the kitty. By starting at the ribs a person should be able to feel the ribs under a thin layer of fat. As you look at your cat from above can you see a defined waist line? One of the obvious signs of an overweight cat is the side view. As your cats’ walks does their belly swing from side to side? There should be a defined line up ward line from the belly to the hips.
If your kitty is starting to get dirty at their back end this is probably due to your overweight cat not being able to reach around to clean themselves.
A visit to the vet is a good option at this time. Most overweight cats’ are a result of a quiet lifestyle and a poor quality and managed diet. The vet visit will rule out any underlying health issues and then it is the responsibility of the cat owner to manage a weight loss diet.
I love my cat and I can’t let them get fat. Overweight cats’ are at risk of several medical conditions including diabetes and just like us humans there are heart problems from carrying extra weight. Overweight cats’ have to carry excessive weight obviously which can lead to orthopedic problem such as joint issues and arthritis
Why Is My Cat Fat
I mentioned in the previous paragraph that a sedentary lifestyle and diet contribute to an overweight cat. Neutering contributes to this condition due to hormonal changes. Most of my cats’ are house bound with little exercise other than chasing each other and human interaction. I try to provide cat toys and cat nip to give them stimulation. Two of my cats’ are allowed outside on leashes with guided supervision.
As with humans weight control or lack of begins with diet and the quality of diet we consume. The difference being that humans can make conscious decisions to control their weight. Our cats’ need our input to have control of their diet.
The Natural Cat
If we consider the cat in a natural environment we would see that the cat would eat several small meals several times a day as a hunter. It is then better to consider feeding our house bound kitties 2 to four times a day of approximately 1 oz of food per meal. I personally use a good quality human grade wet cat food for our cats’. Follow this link to my Maintaining your Cat for two great articles on cat food.
Cats Are Obligate Carnivores
Cats must eat meat. It is a biological necessity as it is required by every cat to eat vitamin B 12 from meat sources. Cats do not have the carbohydrate- digesting enzyme, Amylase. This means that cats’ are not meant to be a carbohydrate consumers. Hence, the problem with never ending bowls of dry cat kibble. Dry cat foods have high levels of fillers such as flour and sugars to hold the dry food consistency. This puts our cats’ at a high risk of weight gain because of the cats’ inability to process the high carbohydrate content.
Commercial cat treats are a poor reward. Grocery store cat treats are designed to be irresistible to cats’ and thus they crave them. Cat treats made from grains, food coloring, plus flavor enhancers are a recipe for adding to your cats’ overweight problem. Some cat treats may contain propylene glycol which is toxic to cats’. It is used to absorb excess water from processed cat foods. It is necessary to become a label reader to avoid giving our cats’ unhealthy treats.
We have trained our cats’ to demand treats. They vocalize for them and we naturally can not resist giving in. If we must give treats buy good natural products from a descent Pet Food store or we can prepare bits of cooked chicken or fish to satisfy our cats’ cravings.
This way we can control our overweight cats’ diet. Your vet will weigh your cat and at this point a person can decide the feeding schedule and amount for your cat. If you are feeding multiple cats’ it mat be necessary to isolate the fast eaters from the group and watch out for the one that cleans up all the left overs. My girl Lacy really likes to take her time and eat alone. My boy Soxs will push others out their bowls and I have seen him push my Husky, China out of her bowl.
In closing the diet topic when you have determined that it is time to start a weight reduction program the trip to the vet is the first point of contact. It must be resolved that there are no underlying health issues. Then a proper and gradual diet change is necessary with the required doctor visits and weigh in to check progress. No Crash Diets.
It is not that hard to give your kitties exercise. The laser light will provide hours of fun for your cat. Be careful not to shine it in the cats’ eyes and it should be used by a responsible person. Ball toys are a hit at my house and I have a couple listed on my Cat Care Products Page. With my seven cats’ there are lots of chasing among some cats’, while the older females are harder to amuse.
Today’s Featured Product
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That’s my story for today. The information provided here is for educational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Please follow this link to my Cat Care Products page for your Cat Care needs.
Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment.
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