We are in the age of memes on the internet where seeing an obese cat is funny to the public but it has become an ongoing problem where the cat, alone, becomes victim to obesity. This is a concern for cat owners and Veterinarians. Like any habit, reducing feline obesity needs to be incorporated into a lifestyle change.
Starting while they are kittens is a way to reduce the risk to your cat. As a kitten, they need to be encouraged to have a time set apart as playtime where the pet can burn up some of the calories that could eventually be turned into fat. This is as easy as five-minute sessions twice a day.
Another aspect is food intake. Many owners give in to feeding their cat often when their cat becomes vocal. The answer to this is having the cat feel satisfied without needing extra feedings. There are options to go about this and some your cat may be on board with. Increased fiber and water intake cause increased gastric filling which makes your cat feel full. Canned wet food is a good option for this as it has more water incorporated in the food and typically it is less calorie dense as well. Another option is feeding smaller meals more often throughout the day. This schedule is actually what cats are by nature accustomed to. As cats are known to be able to take care of themselves often times the owner is not around as much. An automatic feeder fixes this problem while removing the urge to fill the bowl more out of guilt or love.
Lastly is the type of food, if the owner catches themselves still adding a little extra to the food bowl a weight management food could be the best option. This way feeding an amount the owner feels comfortable with can still give the cat a long-term positive effect on their pet’s weight management. At times with these changes, the weight still does not seem to be falling off. This could be caused by giving too many treats. The idea for reducing feline obesity is generally lower intake. Less food can mean an upset kitty but as long as your pet is kept entertained the results will be worth it. If you are having trouble getting your feline friend to lose weight, consult with your Veterinarian. They will be able to assist you in getting on the right track.
Utah Veterinary Hospital
161 East 30 North
American Fork Ut 84003