Cat obesity

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cat obesity

Cat Obesity... By Lori Newell... Cat Obesity... By Lori Newell...

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     What causes cat obesity?  When more calories are consumed on a daily basis than our feline friend uses during that same time.

     Cat obesity is the number one nutritional disorder among cats.  If your cat is over 10 pounds and has been examined by your veterinarian whom told you that your cat is obese, here are some tips you can do to eliminate this from happening:

  • Reduce or eliminate table scraps and treats.  These are often high in fat and calories, which contributes to weight gain.
  • Reduce the amount of current complete and balanced pet food.  It is best to measure how much your cat receives.  This helps keep the serving size consistent and prevents the natural tendency to pour a little extra in the bowl.
  • Increase the amount of exercise the cat receives.  You should entice your cat to play as a way to increase activity.
  • Switch to a low-calorie pet food.  One that is lower in calories and higher in fiber.  This allows yourself to continue to serve a nice-sized portion while reducing the number of calories your cat actually receives.
  • Consult a veterinarian before beginning any diet program.  Your veterinarian can design a weight loss program for your individual pet and help identify specific problems by suggesting alternatives.  It is also helpful to have the pet weighed periodically to track progress.

Preventing excessive weight gain is the best approach to weight control in your cat.

     The most effective method is determining if your cat is overweight is to feel for their ribs.  Gently rub your fingers over your cat's chest wall.  You should be able to feel each rib.  Follow that rib until it arches towards the middle of your cats back.  If you cannot feel the ribs, than your cat is a little overweight.  Also, see if your cat has a large fat pad between their rear legs.  Some are so big that they actually drag on the floor.  If your cat has a large fat pad, than you should put him on a diet.  (The average cat should weigh roughly 10 pounds).

     If there were no physical problems with your cat, exercising would be a great help in keeping your cats weight down.  You can encourage your cat to chase toys around the house or play with other toys that help keep him occupied and also healthy and happy. 

     Remember that it took months to years for your cat to put this extra weight on.  It is highly likely that it will take several months to get it off.  Be patient, slow and steady is the name of the game.  Don't put your cat on any crash diets or other weight control gimmicks.  They don't work, and they may do more harm than good to your favorite feline friend.

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