Do you know that extra pounds can have a significant effect on your cat’s health? Although you may cherish your overweight cat, all their excess body weight could result in serious health problems. They can develop high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and strokes. Extra pounds can also subject your cat to the risk of having diabetes mellitus, arthritis, and breathing difficulties. An overweight cat is less active and playful and tends to have a shorter lifespan. So, to avoid these grave consequences, it’s crucial to help your cat lose weight. Here are five safety tips on how to do it.
1. Have your cat examined by a veterinarian
Visiting your cat’s vet is the best first step that you should consider. Taking your cat to the veterinarian for an overall wellness check will confirm whether they have excess weight. You’ll also discover their ideal weight and rule out on any underlying causes for the weight gain. Your vet will perform some diagnostic tests on your cat’s blood and urine samples to check for overweight-related medical conditions. Then, they will assess your cat’s current dietary regime and living conditions. Once you’re aware of your cat’s situation, it’s time to discuss a weight loss plan for your cat’s specific health issues with your vet. One common medical condition for an overweight cat is diabetes. In case your veterinarian discovers your cat is diabetic, they will highly recommend a dieting program: to help your cat lose weight safely. However, cat dieting is not just about restricting food since rapid weight loss could have negative consequences. Therefore, good nutritional programs are essential for supporting a gradual, healthy weight loss.
2. Choose the right cat weight-loss diets
Nutrition makes a substantial contribution to weight loss; hence, you can determine the right food for your cat after talking to your veterinarian. Many weight loss foods are sold in pet stores. These diets can be suitable for cats that need to lose a small amount of weight and maybe ineffective for a cat that needs to lose considerable weight. Not every weight control program is suitable for every cat, and various foods solve this. Certain weight control foods have high proteins and low carbohydrates, while others contain lots of fiber content that satisfies the cat more and halts them from pleading for more food. Some new weight control foods contain particular nutrients that foster increased metabolism, enabling faster burning of calories. Calorie controlled diets are one of the simplest ways you can use to help your cat lose weight. According to ThePetExpress, cats have the ideal amounts of calories that they should eat in the daytime. If your cat is consuming more calories than the required amount, their bodies will not digest them. Instead, the additional calories will be turned in into fat; therefore, talk to your vet, so can he advise you on the best weight control diet for your cat.
3. Change your cat’s eating habits
Most individuals who own overweight cats feed their cats a whole-day meal; they put some food in a bowl, and the cat is allowed to eat all day. They keep replenishing the supply when the dish becomes empty. This type of routine is commonly known as free feeding. It makes it challenging to track how much your cat is eating and the number of calories consumed. So, how often do you feed your kitty? If it’s two to three times a day with large meals, you’re not applying the right routine to help your cat lose weight. A cat likes to take smaller meals; however, they prefer them more often. A full-grown cat, for example, will eat a maximum of seven smaller meals per day. Dividing the meals will mean that your kitty eats frequently, but will only consume what he needs, thus, controlling the diet. If you’re not home during the day, you can feed your cat two portion-regulated meals per day: one during morning hours and the other in the evening.
A cat is typically a sedentary creature, so when your furry friend is awake, try exercising him. Calorie restriction alone cannot lead to your cat’s weight loss. According to Mom.com, combinations of nutritious diet and exercise are vital elements that you can implement to help your cat lose weight. It would be best if you encouraged your kitty to exercise day after day. Physical activities will facilitate your cat’s movement, enabling them to burn excess calories. Ensure your kitty has things such as a tower or a multilevel cat trees to climb on and invest in an interactive toy that encourages the hunt for prey to get your cat on their paws. You might also want to give a thought to adopting a new feline for your cat to interact with, but don’t ignore old standbys like pulling a string across the floor in light of your cat. You can also consider using bits of paper wrapped into balls or any light item that can prompt them to always be on their paws. Alternatively, taking a walk with your cat during beautiful weather gets cats out into the open air and stimulates their senses. However, regardless of how eager you are for them to lose weight, watch how the kitties behave while playing; if they show signs of being tired or breathless, give them a break.
5. Check the progress
Finally, you should be in a position to tell if your kitty is losing weight or not. According to The Gallant, you can check their ease, stamina, and body size. Additionally, make sure that you weigh them regularly. If they haven’t lost some pounds in the first month, consider modifying your weight loss strategy. For felines, losing weight depends on how devoted the household is in attaining that goal. Cats have no idea that their extra pounds are not suitable for their health. Therefore, it’s up to you and your veterinarian to safely and successfully help your cat lose weight.