As a cat owner, it’s natural to worry about the health and well-being of your cat. While it’s easy to notice when something is wrong with your beloved furry friend, like they’ve stopped eating or are throwing up, you could be missing something equally pressing – your cat’s weight. You may think your cat is just a little fluffy, but overweight and obese cats face some serious health risks. In this blog, we’ll explain the difference between an obese cat and an overweight cat, and list some tips to get your cat back to a healthy weight.
Cats who are overweight could face some serious health problems, including the risk of developing obesity. Overweight cats are defined as cats who are 10% to 19% over the ideal weight for their size, age, and breed. You can try to gauge whether your cat is overweight by assessing their physical appearance. Are you able to see an indentation of the waist from above your cat? Can you feel your cat’s spine and ribs? If you answered no, then your cat could be overweight. If you’re feeding your cat a calorie-dense diet and your cat does not get much exercise, this could result in an overweight cat.
Obese cats could end up facing a variety of health complications. Your cat is considered obese if they’re 20% or more over the ideal weight for their size, age, and breed. Obesity can lead to a number of complications, including breathing problems and decreased immune function. If your cat has no defined waist and you can’t feel their ribs, then your cat might be considered obese.
Ways to Combat Obesity in Your Cat
While your cat’s ideal weight is dependent on a number of things, there are steps you can take to help combat obesity in your cat and keep your cat generally healthy. These steps include:
Feeding your cat proper portions: Cats’ natural diets consist of high protein and low carbs. Feed your cat protein-rich food in the correct portion size to combat obesity.
Encourage exercise: Your cat needs to burn calories, which is hard if your cat is sedentary. Encourage exercise by playing with your cat or walking your cat up and down some stairs.
Invest in a puzzle feeder: Most cats just need to walk to their bowl for food, which doesn’t encourage activity. Puzzle feeders are bowls that require cats to manipulate the food out of the crevices in order to obtain it.
Ensure any weight loss is gradual: If you’re trying to help your cat lose weight, make sure any weight loss is gradual. Losing weight too quickly is dangerous for cats and could lead to further health complications.
Though we all want our feline friends to be well-fed and happy, maintaining a healthy weight is an important factor to your cat’s overall well-being. By following these tips and scheduling regular checkups, you can ensure that your overweight or obese cat is back to an ideal weight in no time!
Whether you want more information on achieving a healthy diet for your cat or want to get your cat a checkup, Germantown Vet is here for you. Give us a call at 240-252-7467 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!