How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight
Managing a weight loss programme for a cat usually involves a multifaceted approach, typically in conjunction with veterinary professionals.
A healthy plan won’t offer any quick fixes and it will involve you adjusting routines in and around the house to best support your cat. Some of the top tips for helping your cat to shed the pounds are detailed below.
Do A Home Health Check
Cat weight loss can happen gradually, which makes it more difficult to notice. A regular home health check can help you keep an eye on your cats weight and overall health. Take a few minutes once a week to look your cat over for any physical changes or concerning symptoms, like weight loss, discharge from the eyes or ears, or gum inflammation.
During this home health check, you should rub your cat gently down the back and sides to get a better handle on their weight. Dont rely only on a sight check, particularly if your cat has longer hair. All of that extra fluff can mask your cats true weight.
Remember too that cats have a tendency to mask or hide their symptoms. If theyre not feeling well, they may hide by napping in the back of your bedroom closet or leave the room when you come in. This makes a regular home health check even more important.
Drugs That Can Cause Weight Loss In Cats
Some drugs can cause weight loss as a side effect in cats. Enilconazole and tocenarib show this side effect. Enilconazole is an antifungal drug, not licensed for use in many countries. Tocenarib is a medication used in tumours.
Antiviral drugs and some behaviour-modifying drugs may also cause weight loss rarely in cats.
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How Quickly Should I Introduce The New Reducing Diet To My Cat
When you are introducing a new diet to your cat, you should allow three weeks for the transition. First, offer small amounts of the new diet in a separate bowl. If your cat is a finicky eater it may take 2-3 weeks for your cat to decide to eat it. Once your cat is eating the new diet, start by mixing ¼ of the new diet with ¾ of the old diet for two to four days. Increase to half-and-half for another two to four days and then give ¾ of the new diet mixed with ¼ of the old diet for a final three to five days before completely switching to the new diet.
To enhance the palatability of the diet food, try warming the food, adding a flavoring such as FortiFlora® , a small amount of salmon or tuna juice, or an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
If your cat refuses to eat the new diet, or if you have any concerns during this initial introduction period, do not hesitate to contact the veterinary clinic for advice.
Treatment For Underweight Cats
First of all, you have to take your cat to the veterinarian so that a complete physical exam, blood work and urinalysis can be done. This is the best way to determine what is causing your cats weight loss and design the best treatment plan for it. As the owner, you will also be reassured and have peace of mind once you find out exactly what is wrong with your cat and have a plan in place.
Of course, depending on the reason, there will be atreatment for an underweight cat or a way for you to treat its underlying medical condition. Do not worry too much. Weight loss can often be treated as long as the conditions are addressed.
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Automatic Feeders And Treat Balls
Feeding your cat by using automatic feeders can help get your cat get accustomed to scheduled meals, which can help with weight loss and long-term weight management.
Using treat balls or food puzzle toys to dispense your cats meal can help slow down your cats eating while also providing stimulation and exercise.
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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?
Reasons For Weight Loss In Cats
Sherry grew up watching her uncle raise turtles, fish, goats and sheep in his backyard. She lives with a tabby and her three kittens.
Various conditions can cause a cat to lose weight. Know when is the right time to reach a vet.
Cats are very good at maintaining a normal weight because of their habit of eating numerous small meals in a day. This is why any significant variation in their body weight should call for early intervention.
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How Much Should I Feed My Cat To Promote Weight Loss
In order to answer this question, your veterinarian will examine your cat to determine its ideal body weight, based on its body size and build. Formulas and charts have been developed to assist your veterinarian in determining this weight, as well as the number of calories required to achieve it safely.
In general, the average domestic cat should weigh approximately 8-10 pounds . Based on your cat’s degree of obesity, your veterinarian may recommend an initial target weight that is higher than the ideal weight. For example, if your cat is 18 pounds , you can calculate its ideal weight to be 10 to 12 pounds , but a more realistic initial goal may be 15 pounds . After the cat loses this weight, a re-evaluation will be made to determine whether further weight loss is needed.
Here are some general guidelines for daily calorie needs based on your cats weight:
Note: This is a general guideline only and is not meant as a substitute from your veterinarian’s specific recommendations. If your cat fails to lose weight on this amount of calories, the total will need to be reduced further.
“The amount of food that is necessary to provide this number of calories will depend on the calorie content of the food.”
For many cats, the best way to lose weight is with a canned diet food fed several times per day, rather than leaving food down all of the time. One of the reasons canned diet foods work better is because finicky felines often prefer wet food to dry.
Is It Normal For An Old Cat To Get Skinny
Cats that range in age from 1 – 7 years in age to have a normal body weight with less than 1% of these cats being obese. As a cat becomes more mature and passes his 7th birthday 28% can actually become obese.
Cats over the age of 12 may start to lose weight and 23% of older cats will actually be underweight. Cats follow the same timeline for their bodies as humans do. We tend to gain weight as we approach age 50 or more and as we pass later birthdays we lose muscle mass and weight as well.
It is a natural part of life for cats to lose a little bit of weight later in life. A significant amount of weight can indicate bigger problems.
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Feline Weight Loss: When Your Cat Losing Weight Isn’t Normal
Feline weight loss, when unplanned, is something to be concerned about at any age. Unfortunately, a cat losing weight is often a sick cat, and this key cat illness symptom is easy for many pet parents to miss. Your cat, when healthy, will normally weigh the same year after year, except for those who gain weight. Good feline care includes knowing what a normal cat weight is for your feline and taking action when any cat weight loss occurs. Many cat illnesses have weight loss as one of the primary symptoms.
I have examined thousands of cats over the last 20 years and I have seen healthy cats come in year after year weighing the same, almost to the ounce. There are two exceptions to that: the cats that steadily gain weight and become overweight, and cats that have an illness.
Unfortunately, there are many, many misconceptions about cat weight problems. For instance, many believe that weight loss is a good sign, especially with the pet obesity epidemic. Also, many believe that a cat losing weight is a normal occurrence with age or is acceptable in small amounts, regardless of whether it is happening quickly or gradually over time. However, as you will learn throughout this article, these things are often not true.
Why Is My Cat Getting So Thin
Weight loss is a common feline problem, particularly in senior kitties. Figuring out if your kitty is losing weight may be reliant on what you feel . This is because a plush feline hair coat can readily mask how svelte or thin your cat is becoming. Note if your kitty feels bonier during grooming or petting and pay attention if your normally hefty feline friend is feeling light as a feather when you pick her up. Even if your cats appetite and behavior appear completely normal, unexplained weight loss should always be addressed with your veterinarian. The more common causes of feline weight loss are described below. Not enough foodWeight loss occurs when too few calories are being consumed. Some of the more common reasons cats will cut back on their food intake include:
- A painful problem in the mouth such as a growth or dental disease.
- Competition at the food bowl created by other cats or a sneaky dog.
- Inability to get to the food bowl. For example, the kitty that can no longer jump up onto the food counter.
- Disinterest in the type or brand of food being served. Finicky kitties will go for days, if not weeks, without eating a bite.
- Stress or anxiety some cats quit eating in response to environmental stressors such as moving to a new household or the introduction of a new pet or human into their lives.
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Why Is My Cat Eating So Much And Losing Weight
The inner workings of a cats digestive system can be confusing to the everyday cat owner, and its often difficult to identify issues with your cats health based on their weight and size due to the varying ideal bodyweights for each breed. Feline Hyperthyroidism is a common ailment for cats of all ages and breeds, and can be identified clearly if you notice your cat is eating more frequently, or is acting hungry more often, while still losing weight.
According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Cats afflicted with hyperthyroidism usually develop a variety of signs that may be subtle at first but that become more severe as the disease progresses. The most common clinical signs of hyperthyroidism are weight loss, increased appetite, and increased thirst and urination. Hyperthyroidism may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity. The coat of affected cats may appear unkempt, matted, or greasy.
Our expert veterinarians Dr. Barron and Dr. Ellen go into detail about how you can identify Feline Hyperthyroidism in your cats, and what your options are for treatment.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Underweight
The weight of your cat is dependent on many factors such as its age, breed, activity level and overall health. Generally, a housecat will weigh about 10 pounds but some breeds can go up to twice that weight and be fully healthy.
To determine if your cat is at a healthy weight or not, you should be able to feel its ribs and backbone but not see them. If you can see their ribs and backbone, your cat is underweight!
The average cat weight varies greatly so it is best to talk to your vet to make sure your cats weight is not too low and is at a healthy level.
There are two ways to determine if your cat is underweight at home before you head to the vet. You can use the body condition score way or the hand test
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Is Your Cats Weight Higher Than Normal
Being an experienced volunteer at a cat shelter and a cat owner who took an obese cat from one of my family members I firmly believe the problem is not that bad. However, the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention reports that over one-half of all house cats suffer from obesity. This issue is not only about the aesthetic look of your pet. Overweight cats suffer from various health problems triggered by their weight gain.
Your primary task is to understand there is a problem you need to solve together with your kitty. Knowing that almost 60% of cats living in households are obese means that comparing your cat with those living in your neighborhood is not the best way. In fact, there are certain practical methods to conclude whether my cat is fat or not.
The first way is to examine your pet with a hand. Standing above your kitty, try to touch your pet child as if you want to feel her ribs. The feelings should be like you are touching someones hand from the back side of the palm. If you need to apply certain force trying to feel the cats ribs, it means your kitty may have overweight problems.
One of the visual methods is to look at your cats body from above. The oval shape means obesity. In fact, the ideal kittys shape somehow resembles the hourglass.
Activity & Exercise Level
For cats, dogs, and humans alike, a moderate amount of physical activity is essential to good health. Cats in the wild get a substantial amount of physical activity every day by stocking and hunting prey, exploring their territory, and playing with other friendly animals.
But indoor cats unfortunately have no such opportunities most of the time. And unlike in the wild, they have easy access to nearly unlimited food sources. Soon enough, their activity is not enough to burn off a healthy portion of the calories they consume in one day. Thats why, to combat obesity in your cat, its important to make sure your cat gets plenty of activity.
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Not Getting Enough Food
Sometimes, your cat is eating less than you think.
Do you have another cat or dog in the house? Additional pets in your home could be eating your cats food or obstructing your cats access to their food bowl.
Or did you recently change brands of food? The calorie content in a cup of food can vary greatly from one brand to another.
Is the food dish up high on a counter? Your cat could be experiencing pain from arthritis that is making it difficult to jump up to where the food dish is.
Your veterinarian can help you determine if there are obstacles in your home that are preventing your cat from getting enough food.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Losing Weight
It is hard to tell if your cat is really losing weight if it happens gradually. If your cat has a lot of hair or used to be slightly overweight, then it can be harder to tell when weight loss has occurred.
To assess your cat’s body condition, start by looking at your cat’s body from above. At an ideal weight, there should be a tuck at the waist that is noticeable but not extreme. Next, run your hands along your cat’s sides. The ribs should be palpable with a thin covering of fat. If the ribs feel very prominent and are visible, your cat is likely underweight.
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Excessive Shedding And Weight Loss In Cats Cat Losing Hair And Weight What Does It Mean
Preventing hair loss Dealing with a bunch of loose, shed hair clumps is enough of a pain without there being even more. Additionally, visit a vet if you notice your cat has bald spots, sores or wounds or if the fur has thinned significantly.
A exceessive will only arrive at this diagnosis if all other underlying conditions can be ruled out. Psychogenic alopecia is a compulsive disorder that drives a men fast weight loss to groom itself obsessively. Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, a curb or complete standstill in grooming, excessive thirst and urination, and insatiable appetite. Italy – Italia. We aim to make pets feel better, not worse. Great care must be taken to clean away the discharge to promote healing, but since pyoderma is a secondary infection, it’s still crucial to determine the cause of the irritation.
Seek Veterinary Care for Fur Loss in Cats The information presented here is not meant to replace professional veterinary diagnosis and treatment. Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is generally caused by one of the following disorders.
This condition can be serious and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
If left unattended, your cat may try to overgroom and cause hair loss.
Natural Remedies for Itchy Bums in Dogs. We also have a water softener.
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