Not sure if any of you read the news last month but obesity in the United States has now been classified as a disease. And obviously this is a disease that’s not just affecting the human population. More and more cats throughout the world are suffering from obesity and steps should be taken to both prevent it as well as remove it from a cat’s life. Being overweight can add a number of stresses on the body that include joint pain and increased risk for numerous diseases including diabetes. The ASPCA as well as other publications have taken steps to give pet owners tips on obesity in cats and we’d like to stress those with you today.
1. How obesity occurs – Obesity develops when energy intake exceeds energy requirements. The excess energy is then stored as fat. Once a pet is obese, he may remain obese even after excessive caloric intake stops. The majority of cases of obesity are related to simple overfeeding coupled with lack of exercise. via
2. Luckily for cat owners obesity in cats is much less common that in dogs. It’s been said that cats have more of an ability to regulate their own energy intake than their canine counterparts.
3. Home testing your Cat for Obesity – You should be able to feel the backbone and palpate the ribs in an animal of healthy weight. If you cannot feel your pet’s ribs without pressing, there is too much fat.
4. Also, you should see a noticeable “waist” between the back of the rib cage and the hips when looking at your pet from above. Viewed from the side, there should be a “tuck” in the tummy—the abdomen should go up from the bottom of therib cage to inside the thighs. Cats who fail these simple tests may be overweight. via
5. If you have a cat that likes to “hunt” you might want to confine your pet to your home more often to curb their diet. While they may not like it, it’s an important start to slimming your cat down to a healthy weight. In the next steps, we discuss a weight loss program. However, be sure to consult your doctor before doing so.
6. Work with your veterinarian to determine your pet’s caloric requirements, select a suitable food and calculate how much to feed.
7. Exercise – Just like with humans, the addition of exercise to your cat’s regimen can go a long way in fighting obesity. Exercise can contribute to the burning of calories, and even reduce appetite.
8. Owner’s Should Take Responsibility – as much as obesity in a cat requires work on the cat’s part, we as owners should be modifying our own behaviors. Perhaps giving our cats less treats is a route to take. Or perhaps we should be giving our cats more ample opportunity to exercise.
9. Be committed – try removing your cat form the room when the family eats. Give your cat smaller and more frequent meals to increase metabolism. Reduce snacks. Increase chances to exercise and be mobile.