I always kinda knew my cat Pedro is a fat cat, but never really bothered with it. I guess I thought it was just his thing. I mean, who doesn’t love eating right? Then comes the awkward moment when the Vet tells you: “your cat is obese”. Turns out that obesity in cats is very common. I had to finally accept that my cat is fat(Sorry Pedro)
So What If My Cat is Fat
Fat cats are very cute, we love looking at their big round belly, but there are serious health issues involved. Statistics show that up to 60% of cats are overweight. Obese cats are prone to suffer from different health issues such as the development of diabetes and liver problems.If you’re not sure whether your cat is fat check out this overweight cat chart.
When your cat starts gaining weight, you may ask yourself, “am I over feeding?” “Is there a health problem I should be aware of?” It may be hard to pinpoint the exact cause for weight gain.
5 common causes of obesity in cats.
- old age: can lead to weight gain in our furry friends. As cats age, they become less mobile and therefore expend less energy. This reduction in energy is usually not met with a reduction in the amount of food they eat. This imbalance can lead to weight gain.
- Lack of activity: Indoor cats are also at risk of not balancing their caloric intake with their activity levels because they may not have as many areas to roam or explore by being indoors. Indoor cats also do not have to hunt for their food as they would in the wild. So, they do not need to eat as much if they are not having to actively search for meals
- Food: If the food is high in calories or carbohydrates, it can lead to excess weight gain just as it would in humans. Interestingly, cats digestive systems cannot process carbohydrates as humans or dogs systems can. Not being able to efficiently process carbohydrates will lead to the cat’s system turning carbs into stored fat.
- Spayed and Neutered Cats: are at a higher risk of becoming obese because they do not require as many calories after these procedures are performed. When a cat is spayed or neutered their metabolic rate is lowered and they often become less active. If their food intake is not lowered as well, then this will lead to an imbalance that will cause weight gain.
- Medical conditions: may cause weight gain in our feline friends. Arthritis is one of the leading medical conditions, in cats, that decreases their activity levels. Arthritis is a painful joint disorder that causes swelling and stiffness in joints. This stiffness and pain will result in decreased activity levels that reduce their energy expenditure. The less energy they are using the less food they need. Food is often not reduced to meet cats energy levels though as it is sometimes hard to monitor their behavior or we become used to feeding our cats a certain amount of food and we may feel it is cruel to reduce the amount of food they receive. It is important to keep our furry friends at a healthy weight though, because obesity is tied to serious medical conditions, just as in humans.
3 Common Symptoms of Overweight Cats
- If you cannot feel your cat’s backbone or ribs then this is a pretty good indicator that they are overweight. While it is unhealthy to be able to see their backbone or ribs, when petting them you should be able to easily feel them(Although this may very for different cat breeds).
- How active your cat is? If you notice your cat being less active than usual, then this is another good indicator that your cat may be in early stages of obese
- Obsereve if they have a difficult time grooming themselves and climbing and jumping on things. Do they find it difficult to move? They might be less able to reach every area of their body in order to groom themselves like they used to.
How to Help My Cat Lose Weight
Like humans, a cat’s way to losing weight is mainly through his diet. If your cat is overweight odds are that you should change his eating habits. Ask your Vet about a different cat diet. A healthy diet for the obese cat contains low carbs and more protein. Most commercial cat foods are made mainly of corn. They are rich in carbs such as sugar. Like humans, cats are not able to adjust to the additional attacks of carbs that come from these commercial foods. So make sure you buy quality cat food
A few tips to a successful cat Diet
- Switching to a raw food Diet–
- Drinking enough water- I know this sounds simple, but it’s actually super important. Water is one of the most important elements when it comes to weight loss. Drinking water reduces salt intake in the cat’s body. Change your cat’s water at least twice a day. Some cats prefer running water, I know it a hassle, but if they drink more water it worth it.
- Less Fatty wet food
Mix up your cat’s diet with some raw meat. Lean cuts of raw meats are excellent for your cat. As they are higher in protein and lower in sugars. Make sure you buy fresh meat, Processed meats are bad for cats like they are for humans. Processed meats are rich in salts and could result in high blood pressure problems.
– No he can not get wet cat food!. Wet food are loaded with trans fats. Trans fats are bad and known to cause obesity in cats. Use quality food only. In my opinion, the best wet cat food for weight loss is Wellness canned and Tiki Cat.
Make Your Cat Exercise
The second thing is to get your cat’s ass of the couch. Overweight cats are fat for a reason, they simply don’t get enough exercise. My cat Pedro used to play around a lot chasing balls and fake mice. As he got fat I could see his energy levels dropping. I can’t stress how important are exercising cat activities to cat health and your human-cat bond. I started putting more playtime with Pedro and I after a few weeks I started to see that his energy levels were going up again and he seems happier. Here are some basic cat games and exercises
Another way to fight cat obesity is cat walking. Although I haven’t tried it yet, it’s a great way to get your cat’s energy levels up again.
Pedro is on his Diet and he is doing great. Leave a comment below and let me know how you are dealing with your cute overweight cat.
Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Quidsi for this blog post OR I received compensation.