Obesity in cats can predispose him/her to diabetes, hepatic lipidosis and arthritis. However, putting a cat on a diet or weight loss plan needs to be approached very carefully. Studies have found over 50% of cats are overweight or obese. Overweight cats seem to be constantly hungry, so we tend to feed them out of sympathy, a habit that can ultimately result in “killing them with kindness.”
How do I know if my cat is overweight?
You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs. Stand above your cat and check his/her waist, they should have a visible indentation behind their ribs. Place both hands lightly on your cat’s ribs. They shouldn’t be sticking out. If you can’t feel them, your pet is probably overweight. Also look for pouches of fat between the hind legs. If he/she is lethargic, lying around all day, not able to jump up on couch/counter or has exercise intolerance, this could mean they are overweight and uncomfortable.
How can I help my cat lose weight?
Start your cat on a weight loss diet. Weigh your cat regularly and watch for changes. We will tell you what your cat’s ideal weight should be. Keep a food diary. Feed small meals throughout the day; this will help their metabolism kick in. Follow the recommendations and feeding guidelines your doctor gives you. Avoid human foods as these tend to be high in sugar, fat and salt! Playing with your cat helps increase their activity. You can use treat balls or mazes, where they have to work for their food. Also, laser pointers work great, to get them moving.
What is offered during a nutritional consultation?
We will weigh, measure and assess your cat and make sure there is no medical reason for their weight gain. If no medical condition, we can start them on a slow weight loss diet. We will calculate how much kitty needs to eat on a daily basis and schedule weigh-ins weekly. It is a long process but so worth it in the end, and your cat will thank you for it.