A Healthy Weight for Your Cat

Would you recognize if your kitty needed to slim down? Fat cats are so common that you simply won’t even realize yours is on the portly side. But overweight and obese cats now outnumber those at a healthy weight, and vets are seeing more super-obese cats, too.

“The problem for us is we wish to spoil our cats, and thus the cats wish to eat, so it’s easy to overfeed slightly bit,” says Philip J. Shanker, DVM, owner of The Cat Hospital in Campbell, CA.

It’s something to need seriously. Even just a couple of additional pounds can make your pet more likely to urge some health problems like type 2 diabetes and make others, like arthritis, worse. It can even keep them from grooming themselves properly. avoiding excess weight should cause a healthier, happier cat.

Ideal Weight for Cats

Most domestic cats should weigh about 10 pounds, though which can vary by breed and frame. A Siamese cat may weigh as few as 5 pounds, while a Maine Coon is usually 25 pounds and healthy.

Your vet can allow you to understand if your cat is overweight, but there are some signs you’ll look for on your own, says Melissa Mustillo, DVM, a veterinarian at A Cat Clinic in Maryland.

“Cats should have that hourglass figure when you’re looking down at them, they shouldn’t have a saggy belly hanging down, and you need to be able to feel their ribs,” she says.

How to Keep the Pounds Off

Vets say that cats’ weight gain usually comes right down to the type and quantity of food they’re fed, alongside plain old boredom.

“When they’re bored, they think, ‘I may additionally go eat. … oh, look there’s no food in my bowl, I’m going to bother mom for more food,’” Mustillo says.

And once they whine, many householders consider staying their pets happy.

But it’s possible to prevent or curb weight gain:

Replace dry food with canned, which tends to possess more protein and fewer carbohydrates. canned foods are additionally honest because of set distinct mealtimes for your pet. Many cats gain weight when owners skip a bowl of dry kibble so that they will eat all day long.

Cut back on treats. Cats do exactly also with other rewards, like playtime with you.

Make your cat work for its food. Vets have found cats are healthier and calmer when their owners use “food puzzles,” which the cat must roll or manipulate to urge treats out of. you’ll hide some within the compartments of a wine box or cut one or more small holes during a plastic bottle and fill it with kibbles. The puzzles hamper their eating while tapping into their instincts to hunt and forage.

If you’ve quite one cat, you will get to feed the overweight one during a separate room or put the healthy-weight cat’s food up high where the wealthy person can’t go.

Before you set your cat on a diet, take them for a physical exam to make sure they don’t have an underlying medical problem. it would be enough to exchange all-day grazing on kibble with defined meals. But a heavier cat may need to modify to canned diet food or a special prescription diet that has more protein, vitamins, and minerals per calorie.

Be patient, Mustillo says. “If your goal is [your cat] losing a pound, it’d take an honest 6 months, maybe up to a year. It’s very slow.”

And don’t freak out if your kitty’s on the curvy side, Shanker says. Your vet can help.

“If the cat’s slightly bit full-figured, it doesn’t mean they’re going to die of heart disease,” he says.

One thing to remember…don’t ever starve your cat. Cats, especially larger ones, can enter liver failure if they don’t eat for even a couple of days

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