Cute fat cats are those you just want to squish and watch all day; but is it better to have acute fat cat or a cute and healthy cat? Pet parents have 100% control over what they feed their cats, which means they are responsible for any weight gain or weight loss. However, most pet parents are in denial and commonly claim that their cat is overweight but is not overeating or easily blame the laziness of their cat.

There are several scenarios and types of pet parenting that lead to obese pets, and the most important thing a pet parent needs to know is: a cat’s weight matters and food plays an important role in it.

A starting point: if someone has mentioned that your cat might be overweight or you have even the slightest inclination that he is, it’s best that you seek guidance on how to properly deal with your overweight furbaby.

What is the ideal weight for cats?

Ideal Weights of Cat Breeds

Domestic Cat

8-10 lbs.

Persian

7-12 lbs.

Siamese

5-10 lbs.

Maine Coon

10-25 lbs.

Source: petobesityprevention.org

According to Pet Obesity Prevention, these are only suggested “ideal weight ranges”. Falling below or going above these ranges are simply an indicator that your furbaby needs further assessment. In some cases, furbabies can fall below or go above the range and still have a healthy body composition.

What are the causes of excessive weight?

  • Imbalance between energy intake and its usage
  • Old age
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Free-feeding
  • Frequent feeding of treats
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Insulinoma
  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Neutering

Is my cat fat or fluffy? How do you know your cat is overweight?

  • Weight gain
  • Excess body fat
  • The inability (or unwillingness) to exercise
  • An above-ideal score in a body condition assessment.

Source: petmd.com

What are the risks associated with excess weight?

  • Type 2 diabetes – a cat with obesity is at least three times more likely to develop than serious disease as a cat of normal weight
  • Kidney disease
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Many forms of cancer – especially intra-abdominal cancers

Source: petobesityprevention.org

 

Sherlock and Ginger

Tips on how to go about the diet plan:

  1. Consult your veterinarian

No matter how much you think you know, don’t just jump into your self-researched diet plan, consult your veterinarian to make sure that your furbaby is ready to go on a diet. Your veterinarian knowns your furbaby’s medical history and can help you evaluate his current health. Let your veterinarian help you with your overweight cat problems!

 

  1. Decide on a Feeding Approach

Depending on your veterinarian’s assessment and your cat’s weight, there are 3 possible approaches for his diet:

Feed the same amount, but in smaller portions. – Basically, you provide the same amount you do every day, but you give the meals in smaller portions. This way, cats burn calories more efficiently.

If your furbaby is unstoppable and devours his meal in one go, try using a fun feeder from Outward Hound! This will definitely be a challenge (and training ground) for them and slow them down.

Feed less and pair it with exercise. – Feeding less is most effective when paired with increased activity. Consult your veterinarian or your pet nutritionist with regards to the portion decrease in your furbaby’s food.

Feed low-calorie food. – Gradually switch to low-calorie food. This way, you’ll be able to feed the same amount of food and your furbaby probably won’t notice. Don’t do it abruptly as it may cause an upset stomach.

If you opt for low-calorie dry food, it’s worth trying Natural Balance’s Fat Cats Low Calorie Dry Cat Formula specifically formulated for overweight adult cats. This diet offers high protein and fiber that’s nutritionally balanced, as well as healthy and delicious.

 

  1. Choose high-quality foods

There are specially designed organic and all-natural pet foods readily available in pet shops in the Philippines that cater to overweight cats. By choosing high-quality foods such as organic and all-natural pet food, you give your furbaby the vitamins and nutrients he needs for his overall health. Note: Make sure to always read the label!

 

  1. Avoid certain kinds of food.

Carbohydrate rich foods – Cats have less amylase in their saliva, a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme, which make it difficult to break it down and be absorbed by the body.

Treats – There’s no need to give treats if your furbaby hasn’t done anything very good!

 

  1. Get into the habit of exercising.

Cats get a lot of sleep in general, and your job as a pet parent, is to bring out the playfulness in them by providing play spaces and setting regular schedules for exercise.

Provide your cat with play spaces such as a cat houses or condos, tunnels and jungle gyms. Take the cat house below from Kittenbox where he can climb and hide in as an example

You’ll find that your furbaby will learn to play, whether or not, you initiate it. Play spaces are great if you’re away a lot and want your cat to be active.

                                             

Source: kittenbox.co.kr

Set regular schedules for exercise, at least 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. It might be challenging to get your cat moving at first, so make it a daily habit and you’ll find that your cat actually enjoys playing. Choose a space with no valuables around to make sure he has enough space to run, pounce, hide and climb. Match playtime with toys cats love like a laser or a teaser wand that he can run after, as if he’s hunting in the wild. Playtime is a great experience with your furbaby!

  1. Prevent your cat from being overweight or obese again.

Prevention is always key. Don’t wait for obesity to strike again and do these 3 important things: (1) schedule annual check-ups for to know his overall health status and progress of his weight loss, (2) monitor his diet and (3) keep him active. Do these and your cat will live a healthier and happier life.

 

As a pet parent, keeping your cat in tip-top shape is your top priority. Make your New Year’s resolution to always keep an eye out and seek guidance when it comes to your cat’s weight.

 

Sources:

https://www.thesprucepets.com/

https://www.petmd.com/

https://www.petmd.com/

https://healthypets.mercola.com/

https://pets.webmd.com/

http://www.vetstreet.com/