Is Your Cat Starting To Gain Weight
If you believe that your cat is overweight, prior to trying any of the following suggestions below, visit your cats veterinarian to ensure that there are no underlying medical reasons for your cats excess weight gain. Also, speak to your veterinarian about your cats diet. And be honest about those table scraps that you may offer your cat now and again. I know the last thing you mean to do is to love your cat to death.
What Should I Do If My Kitten Is Overweight
Its been shown that cats are more likely to become overweight after spaying or neutering. We routinely recommend to decrease the amount of food after this procedure by 20-30% and to watch body condition closely, but its still important to keep your kitten on a diet that meets the needs of growing cats until he is at least 1 year of age. 4.
Causes Of Cat Weight Gain
The most common causes of cat weight gain are overfeeding and not enough exercise, says Wag!. This sometimes happens without pet parents realizing it, especially as cats get older and their metabolisms and their activity levels slow down. An older cat has different nutritional needs than when she was younger, and continuing to feed her the same amount and type of food you always have once she reaches middle age is a recipe for weight gain. This is another reason why it’s a good idea to visit your vet if you notice that your cat has gained weight.
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Can I Feel My Pets Ribs
Let us consider each of these questions in turn. Firstly are my pets ribs easy to feel without having to press on the area? This is one of the first parameters to disappear in an overweight pet so if you are having to apply pressure to feel the ribs then your pet is certainly overweight regardless of whether they are a dog or a cat. A gentle pressure would indicate a condition score 6, moderate pressure a 7 and by condition score 8 the ribs are only able to be felt with very firm pressure.
Cat Obesity: How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight
What is obesity?How do I know if my cat is overweight?What is a body condition score ?Why is my cat overweight?Can my cat be predisposed to obesity?What are the health risks of an overweight pet?What are the benefits of weight reduction?How can I help my cat lose weight?
- Increasing the amount of exercise your cat receives
- Modifying the way you feed your cat
- Restricting the calories your cat consumes
How much exercise does my cat need?How should I change my feeding strategy?How can I get my cat to consume fewer calories?How much food should I feed my cat?Are all diet pet foods the same?Why does my cat always seem hungry on a restricted diet?How long will it take my cat to reach his/her ideal body weight?How do I maintain my cat’s ideal body weight once it is reached?
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What And How To Feed Obese Cats
If you feed dry food, your vet might recommend making a switch to canned food, which provides more protein and fewer carbs than kibbled diets, and may help your cat feel full longer. Canned food also provides extra fluid, something that is beneficial because cats tend not to drink as much water as they should.
Feeding scheduled meals, rather than free feeding or leaving food out at all times, is something that benefits all cats, not just overweight cats. Free feeding is convenient for us humans, but cats tend to snack all day and consume more calories than they need. They might also eat out of boredom when food is always available. Feeding scheduled meals also allows you to serve measured portions so you know your cat isnt consuming too many calories.
How To Get Your Kitty’s Weight Back On
Your kitty’s breed, age, and lifestyle all make a significant difference to their nutritional needs.
If you think that your cat may be overweight make an appointment to see your vet. Your veterinarian will assess your cat’s current weight then let you know what your kitty’s optimal weight is and how to help your cat reach their weight loss goals.
For cats that are just a little overweight, sticking to their regular food but reducing the size of each meal could get your pet’s weight back within healthy parameters.
If your cat needs to lose a significant amount of weight, it may be best to switch your kitty over to a specialized food that is formulated to help with feline weight loss.
Unexplained Weight Gain
Has your cat has suddenly started to gain weight without cause? Then it’s time to see your vet! Unexplained weight gain can be a symptom of an underlying health issue.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
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Show Your Love By Helping Them Shed That Weight
Feline obesity is a serious concern, but one that is manageable and, with a concerted effort, correctable. When you make an effort to get your cats weight under control, you should see some noticeable results the most important one being a healthier kitty.
*Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For all terms and conditions visit www.aspcapetinsurance.com/terms. Preventive and Wellness Care reimbursements are based on a schedule. Complete Coverage reimbursements are based on the invoice. Levels 1-4 reimbursements are based on usual and customary eligible costs. Products, schedules, and rates may vary and are subject to change. Discounts may vary and are subject to change. More information available at checkout.
What Should A Cat Weigh
Though most cats should be about 7-12 lbs, the ideal weight for an individual cat depends on the size of the cats frame, so we focus on body condition score rather than just weight. We use a body condition scoring system to help us determine the amount of body fat an animal has. There are a few different scales, but all are based on the amount of fat over a pets ribcage. For dogs and cats, if you feel over the pets rib cage, it should feel no more padded than the back of the owners hand. Your cat is overweight if he is 10% more than the ideal weight and obese if over 20% of the ideal weight.
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What Happens When We Reach Our Weight Loss Goal
Once an ideal body weight and condition has been achieved, it is important to maintain your cats weight. Your veterinarian can help you find an appropriate food and portion for weight maintenance.
Portion control is critical at this stage to prevent regaining weight. After so much hard work, a relapse in obesity would be unfortunate. Yo-yo weight loss and gain is no healthier for cats than for humans. The benefits of normalizing body weight and condition make the effort well worth it.
How Do I Adjust My Cats Meals To Help Him Lose Weight
Once you have identified that your cat is overweight or obese, it is important to adjust feedings specifically for weight loss using a specific nutritional product, portion, and meal frequency. There are scientifically formulated nutritional products to help with healthy and safe weight reduction in cats such as Hills® Prescription diet metabolic, Royal Canin® Satiety Support Weight Management and Purina Overweight Management®. It is not appropriate to simply reduce the volume of their current food. This will cause malnourishment over time.
It is appropriate and important to feed a nutritional product that has lower overall calorie density, yet maintains an appropriate nutrient balance Your veterinarian can help you determine which nutritional products are best for your cat.
Once the new food has been selected and the new portions are determined, it is critical that you be consistent with feeding portions and meal frequency and to resist the temptation to provide inappropriate snacks. Ask your veterinarian what treats are recommended for your cats diet plan.
“It is not appropriate to simply reduce the volume of their current food. This will cause malnourishment over time.”
For further tips on reducing your cats weight, see the handouts Creating a Weight Reduction Plan for Cats and “Exercising Your Cat for Weight Loss”.
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Is My Pet At Risk For A Medical Problem Due To Excess Weight
This is a very serious question that you need to understand for your pets future. Dogs and cats with excess fat are at greater risk for developing diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and many forms of cancer. You need to have a frank conversation with your veterinarian to find out if your pet is potentially facing one of these weight-related disorders. If so, what can you do to reduce their odds of developing these conditions? Preventing disease is my primary focus and one of the reasons Im so passionate about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and proper nutrition. The most important decision you make each day about your pets health is what you choose to feed it. Choose wisely your pets longevity and quality of life depends on it.
Its never too late to reduce your pets chances of contracting one of these serious disorders. Early recognition and awareness is the best defense against many diseases. Begin by asking these questions.
How Excess Weight Impacts Your Cat
Being overweight has a psychological effect on humans, and it’s no different with cats. While cats don’t spend time looking in the mirror wishing they could look better in a bathing suit, overweight cats might refrain from engaging in normal cat activities like play and personal hygiene. This can not only lead to skin problems and possible urinary tract infections, warns Catster, it can also be a sign your kitty is feeling depressed or anxious. A study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior reported by The Telegraph concludes that cats and dogs can sometimes overeat to combat stress or negative feelings. Not only that, but overweight cats are also more prone to diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis, and joint pain, the Cummings Center points out. The Cummings Center also notes that excess weight can cause chronic inflammation, a condition that negatively impacts the overall health of pets in ways vets and pet parents are only beginning to discover.
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Concentrate On The Protein
Before you buy cat food, browse its ingredients. If a grain, like corn, is listed as its first ingredient, it may not be the best option for your cat. Corn is a less expensive filler that many food manufacturers use to slash costs.
Try to instead purchase foods which are rich in protein and emphasize that theyre grain-free or low-grain. Usually, wet food is greater in protein, which might be an excellent choice for your feline. Some pros even suggest a fully raw diet yet speak with your veterinarian before you implement this change.
Tips To Help Your Cat Lose Weight
If your fur baby appears to be above the average cat weight, dont despair. Just like with people, your cats weight is largely decided by two things: how much she eats, and how much she exercises.
Luckily, you have a lot of control over both factors. The ASPCA suggests taking these steps to help get your fur baby down to an average cat weight:
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A Different Cat Food May Be Necessary
Your veterinarian may recommend feeding a specifically formulated cat food to help your kitty lose weight safely and slowly. Thats because weight management diets are designed to provide all of the nutrients a cat needs while reducing the number of calories eaten. Diamond CARE Weight Management Formula for Adult Cats is one food that can help address your feline friends weight issues. You can learn more about this cat food by visiting the product information page.
The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.
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S To Take If Your Cat Is Underweight
If you suspect that your cat is underweight, there are a couple of responsible steps you can take.
First, monitor your cats feeding times and see if theyre finishing all of their food. A cat who loses their appetite or doesnt eat their food could suffer from a number of issues that require veterinary treatment.
Next, if your feline scarfs their food down as normal, check that youre feeding them the correct amount of food. Most cat food packaging or websites will have a chart with recommended serving amounts based on your cats weight, but your vet is the best source to find the right food and serving sizes.
Be aware that overfeeding can bring about a case of feline obesity, especially so with indoor cats.
If you think your cats diet is okay but theyre still underweight, its time to call or visit your vet. Follow any steps or feeding advice your vet gives you to the letter.
Have you ever found out that your cat was underweight? What steps did you take to get them back to a healthy weight? Tell us your tips in the comments section below!
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Help Your Cat Lose Weight
If your cat is overweight, ask your vet for advice on an appropriate feeding regime to ensure they get enough nutrients, without being overfed.
Weighing food out daily is a helpful way to control portions. Some dry foods come with calibrated scoops, but these are easy to overfill.
If you like to give your cat treats, reduce the amount of normal food you provide.
Never starve overweight cats or put them on ‘crash diets’. Any period of time without food can potentially be dangerous. A slow, steady weight loss is ideal. It can take as much as a year for a severely overweight cat to reach its ideal weight.
It is hard to notice weight change in a cat you see every day, so regular weighing is a useful way to monitor progress. Your cat probably won’t sit still on your scales, so weigh a carrying box or yourself, then weigh the cat in the box or while holding it and subtract the excess to get your cat’s weight.
Some vet practices offer weight clinics, where they can regularly weigh your cat using their specialist scales.
Only Feed Your Cat From Her Bowl
During this weight loss journey, its important to help your cat re-learn good eating habits, like eating from her bowl and sticking to smaller portions. Many cats only eat until they are full, but if they are allowed to consume more they may begin to eat past this point which will cause them to gain weight.
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What You Will See And Feel If Your Cat Is At A Healthy Weight:
- Ribs: When running your hands along your cat’s side, you can easily feel the ribs while also feeling a small amount of fat covering them.
- Base of Tail: When feeling the base of your cat’s tail, you notice a small layer of fat and it is smooth to the touch.
- Spine: When running your hands along your cat’s back you should be able to feel the spine and a small layer of muscle/fat covering it.
- Waist: When looking at your cat from above, you see a visible waist line just behind the ribs.
- Abdominal Tuck: When looking at your cat from the side, the area behind the ribs is visibly smaller than the chest.
How To Prevent Illness In Cats
Many owners underestimate the importance of routine veterinary care for cats. They may wait several years to bring their cats to the vet for check-ups. Worse, they sometimes wait until their cat is sick. It’s understandable that people would want to avoid putting their cats through the stress of a veterinary visit. Some cats become very anxious or even aggressive at the vet. Rather than waiting, try to find a veterinary practice that is less stressful for your cat. Many feline-friendly practices are out there, some even cat-only practices. Alternatively, you may consider finding a mobile vet who can come to your home. Many cats do better in a familiar environment.
Annual veterinary exams are essential for cats. Senior cats can benefit from biannual check-ups and routine lab work. These visits give the vet an opportunity to examine your cat when he appears healthy. The vet may find minor abnormalities on the exam that indicate a minor problem before your cat gets really sick. Early detection might mean you and your vet can take action before the illness becomes serious.
You can also keep your cat as healthy as possible by feeding a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help your cat avoid obesity and a wide array of other health issues. Many vets recommend wet diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Be sure to use routine parasite prevention as recommended by your vet. This can prevent fleas, intestinal parasites, and other parasites from making your cat sick.
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