Tips For Helping Your Cat Lose Weight
An extra pound or two may not sound like much, but it can be a significant burden for a cat whose ideal weight is only 10 to 12 pounds. Obesity can increase your cats risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and other health problems. It can also lead to a 2.8-fold increase in mortality, especially among older cats .
If your cat needs to lose weight, there are three things you can do:
Remember that healthy weight loss should happen slowly. According to Tufts University, a loss of 0.5% to 2% of a cats body weight is safe. You absolutely dont want your cat to be on a drastic diet. Losing weight too quickly can trigger a dangerous condition for cats called fatty liver diseasewhich can result in liver failure. Instead, focus on slow and steady weight loss until your cat reaches their goal weight.
Encourage Your Cat To Play
Another way to help your cat lose weight is to increase their activity. Provide cat trees for climbing, or teach your cat to play fetch or walk on a leash. Buy or create your own toys that encourage exercise. One ingenious owner tosses her cats dry food ration across the room a piece at a time!
You also can use your cats natural hunting instinct to help them lose weight. Hide several small portions of their daily food ration around the house. If you have a multilevel home, make your cat use the stairs.
Use your imagination, but be cautious. Dont let a fat cat get exhausted, overheated or out of breath. Also, keep in mind that a senior cat may not be able to exercise vigorously.
Replace food treats with rewards like playtime, grooming, stroking or conversation. If you cannot resist the fat cat who begs for food at the dinner table, keep them in another room during dinnertime. If you have a multi-cat household, the consistent winner of the food competition sweepstakes is often obese. If this is the case, separate the cats at mealtimes if possible.
How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight
This article was co-authored by Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital is a team of four veterinarians based in Austin, Texas. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital offers medical assessments, dentistry, ultrasonography, flea control, radiology, and cardiology services to dogs, cats, and pocket pets. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital is Austins first Fear Free Certified Practice and was awarded “1st Runner Up in Culture” by the 2020 Best of the Best Austin Official Choice Awards. Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital’s veterinarians are members of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 85% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 33,045 times.
Though you may love your fat cat, all her excess body weight could lead to serious health issues and disorders. Even two pounds over the ideal body weight can put your cat at risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis , high blood pressure, and joint injuries.XResearch source Overweight cats also tend to have a shorter lifespan and becomes less energetic and playful as they age. With the right approach, you can help your obese cat lose weight and ensure she is around for years to come.
Also Check: Pine Pellet Sifting Litter Box
Strategies For The Multi
Life is rarely simple often you have one cat who needs to lose weight and a skinny one who is a grazer.
Technology to the Rescue: Microchip feeders
SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder:
This plain vanilla feeder is ideal for grazers who tend limit themselves. The feeder is programmed to sense an individual cats microchip and only opens for the particular cat. Put the skinny cats food in the Surefeeder and the fat cats food in a timed feeder or in bowls spread out through the house. The Surefeeder can also accommodate canned food.
Timed Microchip Feeders:
These feeders sense the tag on the pets collar and allow a pet a certain amount of time to eat. Many of these feeders can accommodate more than one pet if they are eating the same food. However, some reviews note that a persistent pet will refuse to leave when the doors try to shut, keeping his head in the bowl and continuing to eat.
This is a ventilated transparent box with an access door. Some models have a microchip flap while others have a magnetic flap. The Meowspace also has a timed access option, allowing the cat to access the space only at certain times of the day.
The DIY version: You can make a meow space out of a closet by installing a microchip cat flap in the closet door. To add a timed option, place an inexpensive automatic feeder in the closet.
Low Tech Solutions to help your cat lose weight:
Start By Consulting Your Veterinarian
Before tackling your cat’s excess weight, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. Every cat has a different physiology and different needs, and even making small changes to your cats diet, food amount, or feeding frequency can make a big impact, positive or negative. Your vet is the best source of guidance to craft a safe, personalized weight loss plan for your unique pet.
You May Like: How To Make Wild Animal On Little Alchemy
Why Is My Overweight Cat Wheezing Or Snoring
If your cat is overweight, the chances of them wheezing or snoring are higher. This is because there is excess fat in the tissues surrounding the cats airways. If your cat is wheezing or snoring, it could also indicate another serious health issue, such as upper respiratory infections, asthma, or a heart or lung condition. Consult your vet if you notice abnormal wheezing or snoring in your overweight cat.
Is My Cat Overweight
If you’re not sure whether your cat is overweight, there’s a simple way to evaluate their size at home no scale needed! The Cornell Feline Health Center recommends using the Body Condition Score, a three-step system:
Rib check: Run both hands, palms down, across both sides of your cat’s rib cage.
Profile check: Look at your kitty from the side.
Overhead check: Stand above them and look down.
If you can’t feel your cat’s ribs or see their waistline, then your cat is probably overweight.
To confirm ifwhether your cat is overweight and to discover their ideal weight, bring them to the vet for an overall wellness check and to rule out any underlying reasons for the weight gain.
You May Like: Love Crafts Cat Name
Use A Treat Toy Or Feeding Ball
Cats arent afraid to work for treats. Buy or make treat toys and feeding balls thatll make your cat trade some physical effort for a yummy snack. Not only do they turn mealtime into playtime, but they provide both mental and physical stimulation, too. Because these toys release food a little at a time, they also help slow down how quickly your cat eats.
Healthy Ways To Reduce Your Cats Weight
Stop Feeding Dry Food
Most veterinarians agree that wet diets are superior to dry diets, not only from a nutritional standpoint, but a weight loss one as well. Wet diets are usually higher in protein, are more palatable, have less calories per ounce, contain large amounts of moisture to support healthy kidney function, and are usually made from animal protein versus plant protein which some argue is better for the strictly carnivorous cat.
Feed A Prescription Weight Loss Diet
There are a number of weight loss diets that are veterinarian approved and available by prescription only. These diets have been scientifically proven to help cats reduce. Some of these diets work by incorporating dietary fiber into their ingredients as a way to improve digestion and help your cat feel full. Others function by incorporating high amounts of protein into the recipe. Higher protein levels help the cat to maintain lean body mass and to feel satiated after eating.
Stop Free Feeding
Purchase A Microchip Activated Feeder
In multicat or multipet households, one animal can gobble up all the food available and grow obese. In these situations, use an ID activated feeding bowl that only allows one pet access to the food. Scanning devices in the feeder recognize the microchip or personal ID tag on your pets collar, then open the lid to the food bowl. When the animal moves away from the feeder, the lid re-closes to keep the food fresh and away from other pets.
Feed Less Food
Recommended Reading: Hawk Attack Cat
Give Them Some Exercise
A healthy cat also gets plenty of exercise! You can encourage your cat to work out by having them chase food or toys up and down the stairs or using a feather wand or laser pointer for them to chase around the house.
If you have a solo cat, consider adopting a second cat. Cats that get along will play with each other, chase each other around the house, and increase their exercise substantially.
Remember, helping your cat reach a healthy weight will help them live a longer, happier life. Higher quality food may cost a little more, but youll end up saving money in the long run by avoiding future vet bills from health problems that obese cats face.
Have you ever helped your cat lose weight? What tips do you have? Let us know in the comments below!
Use Cat Toys To Make Mealtime Fun
Dr. Carlo Siracusa of University of Pennsylvanias School of Veterinary Medicine says cat parents should adjust not just the type or amounts of food but also the schedule and the way the food is delivered. Keep in mind that feral or semi-feral cats eat multiple small preys throughout their days.
He says that, ideally, cats should be fed multiple small meals throughout the day. He also recommends using food toys or prey-like feeding devices. Dr. Siracusa likes the idea of a cat using a prey-like toy for a few minutes and then ending the sequence with the administration of a small meal. This is a great form of environmental enrichment.
For an interactive pre-meal invitation, the Jackson Galaxy Mojo Maker laser wand teaser cat toy features a feathery toy that simulates a flying bird as well as a removable laser.
Recommended Reading: Why Does My Cat Turn Her Head Upside Down
A Hungry Cat Often Looks For Mischief
Another factor to consider is that a hungry cat is a busy cat, often seeking out food, stalking or grumpy towards the other cats , bothering the people around the house, or engaging in other destructive behaviors.
Being busy is good in that it makes the cat more active, which helps burn calories, but the nature of the business is often not appreciated by the rest of the house. By feeding a cat in response to these behaviors, the cat is encouraged to act this way. One of the hardest things to do is to let a cat be hungry without rewarding the associated behaviors.
Dealing With A Hangry Cat
There are prescription diets your veterinarian may recommend to help your pet feel more full on less food, so they dont feel as hangry and beg. Remember, never suddenly change your cats diet. Rather, do it gradually over a 12-week period, sometimes up to 3 weeks, switching from the old diet to the new diet. Read more about how to switch your cat’s food here.
Also Check: Rainbow Kitten Surprise – When It Lands Lyrics
Keep Your Cat Active With Tractive Gps
Keeping your cat fit can be easy. Rewarding too. Track all your cats activity whether theyre curled up next to you or running around exploring the neighborhood. Set activity goals, track your felines progress, and even enjoy a friendly fitness competition with other cats in your circle. Not to mention, you get the ultimate peace of mind knowing where your cat is at all times.
Is My Cat Fat
This is probably not a question that we think about too often but apparently we should! According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention an estimated 59% of cats are overweight or obese. Even more surprisingly, an estimated 15% of owners with overweight or obese cats believe their cat is a normal weight. Of course, we think our chubby kitties look adorable, but that extra couple of pounds could have a negative effect on their health. Since cats come in all shapes and sizes , your vet is your best resource for figuring out if your cat is overweight.
So your vet told you your cat is overweight, now what? And why does it matter? Overweight and obese cats have a higher likelihood of developing a number of diseases. Some can be serious, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure, and these diseases can lead to a shorter life span. It may seem like a hassle to try and get your cat to lose weight, but it definitely pays off to have a healthier kitty in the long run.
You May Like: Cats Age Conversion
Feed The Right Amount
But dont cut back too drastically! Crash diets are not good for cats, in fact, they can be deadly. If your cat does not eat enough for a couple of days, they are at risk of developing fatty liver disease, which can be fatal. Make sure you are feeding the amount recommended by the food manufacturer, or even better, the amount recommended by your vet.
Of course, it is just as important to make sure you are not feeding your cat too much. Even if you are not free-feeding, overfeeding your cat at designated meal times still has the same effect as free-feeding – they are still eating more than they need. If you have multiple cats, this might mean separating them at meal times to ensure they eat the right amount.
Start A Diet And Stick To It
The best way to start a diet is by feeding fewer calories than what is needed to maintain their current weight, so instead we feed for a target weight lower than this. For example, if you have an overweight cat that is 7kg, you feed 6kg worth of food.
It is really important not to do this too quickly, crash diets can be overwhelming for your cat’s body and can even do more harm than good, so if you are unsure, chat to your vet.
Here at KatKin we do all of this for you! When you become a member of our club, we ask you to enter all of your cat’s details including their weight, body condition and activity level. We take all of this information and calculate your cat’s ideal weight, and using that we figure out the ideal calories required for your cat.
If you find that your cat is wolfing their food down and then crying for more food then you can use things like slow bowls. These bowls are designed to force your cat to eat much slower and allows time for them to get full.
In an idea world treats would end full stop. But we are realistic and know that the odd treat may or may not fall right in front of them and you are just too slow to get it before they eat it. Luckily you can use our Nibbles as a natural snack to accompany meals – they’re freeze dried to lock in all the nutritional goodness and available alongside our Fresh frozen meal pouches.
Don’t Miss: 17 Years In Cat Years
Change Your Cats Diet Gradually
Changing diets can be stressful for pets, so if your veterinarian recommends changing diets, proceed slowly.
Begin with a daily portion that mixes 25% of the new food with 75% of the old food. The next day, increase the amount of new food to 50% and decrease the amount of the old food to 50%. During the next few days, continue increasing the proportions of the new food and decreasing the amount of old food until the food consists entirely of the new diet. This method increases the likelihood that your cat will accept the new diet and decreases the occurrence of stomach upsets.
Does Your Cat Need To Lose Weight
Being even a few pounds overweight lowers your cat’s quality of life. It makes your kitty feel uncomfortable and reduces her desire to move, which can cause even more weight gain. Cats with excess weight tend to have shorter lifespans too.
But weighing your cat isn’t the most effective way to figure out if your kitty needs to shed some pounds. Instead, assess your cat’s body condition, says Aimee Simpson, DVM, medical director of VCA Cat Hospital of Philadelphia, and look for the following:
- Does your cat have a waist? Look down at your cat while both of you are standing. A healthy cat’s body has a slight indent between the ribs and hips.
- Can you feel your cat’s ribs? Apply gentle pressure along the sides of your cat’s chest. You should be able to feel individual ribs at a healthy weight.
- Does your cat have a droopy belly? Look at your standing cat’s profile. The abdomen should be taut and straight, rising slightly upwards as it meets the hips. Overweight cats have a rounded abdomen with no upward tucking.
If your cat’s body shape indicates he’s overweight, ask your veterinarian for help determining what your cat’s ideal weight should be.
You May Like: Cats Name Off Of Hocus Pocus