How to Help a Cat Lose Weight
Even a couple of extra pounds can have a significant impact on the health of your cat. More than half of cat owners have a cat who is overweight or obese. In addition, while it’s easy to ignore a few more ounces or dismiss it as merely extra-fluffy fur, excess fat has serious repercussions. Whatever the reason for your cat’s weight gain, whether it’s the threat of a reduced lifetime, an increased likelihood of health problems or simply mobility issues, even a few additional pounds can have a significant influence on his or her health.
The impact of weight loss in cats is easy to overlook when your physician estimates that your cat might lose two pounds or less.
However, when you consider that the typical cat weighs 10 pounds, two pounds constitutes a significant problem!
Consider the typical 160-pound person and compare him or her to the average 10-pound cat to see how they compare.
- And if the typical cat carries three pounds of extra weight about on their frame, that is the equivalent of approximately 50 pounds of extra weight carried around on the average human body.
- If you have a 5-pound Siamese that is fragile, even 8 ounces will make a difference.
- However, BMI charts and other rules that are effective for the vast majority of humans are ineffective for cats.
- The 1-5 scale or the 1-9 scale are frequently used to score the body condition of cats.
- You can use a scale to track your cat’s weight reduction objectives on a monthly basis if he or she surpasses the optimum score, but you’ll still want to perform a hands-on and visual check as you get closer to your target.
- In order to establish your cat’s bodily condition and set weight loss objectives, you should consult with your veterinarian.
- Consider the following: Find out what your cat’s body condition score is.
The goal of weight loss should be to enhance health, but cats must follow a specific weight loss strategy to ensure that their liver is not harmed as a result of the weight loss.
Fatty liver disease, which your veterinarian will most likely refer to as hepatic lipidosis, can be caused by fast weight loss in some cases, and it can be fatal in the worst case scenario.
It is recommended that you aim for weight reduction of only 3 to 4 percent of your cat’s total body weight every month.
Increase your cat’s L-carnitine intake by providing them with low-calorie treats or a supplement.
There is only minimal evidence, including a 2002 research, indicating L-carnitine can assist preserve the liver when dieting and weight reduction is taking place.
Consider the following: How to Assist Your Cat in Regaining a Healthy Weight How to Incorporate Exercise into Your Hunt-Eat-Groom-Sleep-Repeat Routine It is likely that your cat already has a favorite daily rhythm that has been honed through millions of years of development.
This is referred to as the hunt-eat-groom-sleep-repeat cycle, and by knowing it, you may get vital insight into the optimal time to play with your cat.
Right before your cat is about to chow down is the ideal possible moment to engage in playful activity with them.
It’s time to get a favorite toy out of the cupboard and walk your cat around the house in circles.
In this scenario, the answer is straightforward: simply move food around as part of your playing.
If you do that before each of their three meals, you’ll be able to easily integrate 30 minutes of exercise into their daily schedule.
Try dividing their meals into little portions and distributing the food about the home in different locations.
Many cats may find the cerebral stimulation provided by foraging for food around the house to be quite rewarding.
Of course, if you have numerous cats in your household, foraging for food may not be an option.
However, restricting one’s caloric intake is not the only weight-loss strategy to consider.
Changing your cat’s diet from wet to raw may also help him lose weight.
The benefits of greater moisture levels in these diets assist to prevent your cat against chronic dehydration, as well as the urinary stones and infections that are frequently associated with this condition.
When losing weight is your number one priority, raw food is the most effective option.
Furthermore, if given enough time to acclimate, many cats may simply switch to raw food.
The majority of veterinarians are happy to collaborate with you in order to assist your overweight cat lose weight.
So if you’ve tried everything, including switching to raw or wet food (or the lowest carbohydrate choice your cat will eat) and playing with your cat on a regular basis, but the scale still doesn’t budge, consult your veterinarian.
It is likely that your veterinarian’s clinic may be able to assist you in troubleshooting any specific concerns you are experiencing.
Helping an Obese Cat Lose Weight [+ 10 Diet and Exercise Tips]
According to the Association of PetObesityPrevention (APOP), 25.7 percent of cats were overweight and a further 33.8 percent of cats were obese in 2018, according to their research. The result is that nearly three out of every five cats is overweight, and veterinarians are raising the alarm. Despite the fact that an overweight cat may appear charming and cuddly, those additional pounds might potentially cause major health problems in the long run. The good news is that you may assist yourcat in losing weight by making a few easy dietary and activity modifications.
Reasons To Help YourOverweight CatLose theExtra Pounds
Cats that are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing a variety of health problems in their lifetime. Overweight cats, according to the Tufts University Veterinary Medical Center, are at greater risk for developing:
- Diabetes in cats, urinary illness in cats, osteoarthritis in cats, inflammation in cats, hormonal abnormalities in cats, shorter life spans in cats
As you can see, yourcat’s weight has a significant impact on his or her overall health. Understanding feline obesity and why your cat may be gaining weight may help you “tilt the scales” in the direction of a healthy weight for your feline companion.
Best Practices for Putting Your Cat on aWeight Loss Diet
So, what can you do if your cat is already overweight and needs to lose weight? Make losing weight a high priority for your cat’s well-being. The most effective strategy to assist a cat in losing weight is to assist them in consuming less calories than they burn via activity, which will necessitate some modifications to their daily routine. Prior to beginning a new feeding schedule and diet, make certain that both you and your cat are prepared to do so. Follow these key practices to ensure a successful project:
Start By Consulting Your Veterinarian
You should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian before attempting to reduce your cat’s excessive weight. The physiology and nutritional requirements of each individual cat are unique. Even modest adjustments to your cat’s diet, food volume, or feeding frequency can have significant consequences, whether for the better or for the worse. Your veterinarian is the most qualified source of advice when it comes to developing a safe and individualized weight reduction strategy for your particular pet.
Determine the Amount of Weight YourCat Needsto Lose
Before beginning a weight-loss program for your cat, you must first decide how much weight she needs to drop. According to the American Pet Products Association, the normal home cat should weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. Having said that, you should consult with your veterinarian about your cat’s sideal body weight because factors such as breed and age have a role. In order to determine your cat’s size and health, you should do more than just weigh them. You or your veterinarian can also check your cat and assign them a score based on their bodily condition.
Take Time Transitioning to Your Cat’sNew Diet(2 to 3 Weeks)
Make a strategy for how you’ll adjust your cat’s diet before you try any weight-loss strategies on them. Then gradually transfer them from their current diet and exercise program to the new one. The majority of cat owners are guilty of overfeeding their cats and failing to provide adequate exercise, and your cat will reject any drastic adjustments in diet. Make a gradual transition from your present feeding routine (meal kind, volume, frequency, etc.) to your new feeding schedule. To make a successful transition to a new food, you should allow at least two weeks between each meal.
This will assist your cat in becoming used to the change, and it will also allow you to observe whether or not they have any negative responses to the new diet.
Pair Exercise With YourCat’s Weight Loss Diet
While food is an important component of weight loss, physical activity helps your cat burn calories and fat while also increasing his or her energy levels. So think of creative methods to include extra physical activity into your cat’s everyday routine. We’ll provide you with some suggestions in our list of suggestions below. Extra fun with your cat (break out the toys or laser pointers, for example) can keep your cat moving and will help your cat’s diet show effects more quickly as well. More workout advice may be found on our blog.
Don’t Rush theWeight LossProcess
Last but not least, be patient. If you substantially reduce the amount of food you give your cat or increase the amount of activity he gets, he may become ill. Cats that go two days without eating, for example, are more likely to acquire fatty liver disease than other cats (hepatic lipidosis). If this illness is not addressed, it might progress to liver failure. This potentially dangerous illness may be avoided if you arrange a complete health assessment with your veterinarian and work together to develop a solid weight-loss strategy.
A cat may safely lose between 0.5 and 2 percent of their body weight per week, so use it as a guideline for your expectations of how much weight they will drop.
10 Tips To Help YourCat Lose Weight
Now, let’s have a look at some ways for assisting yourcat in losing weight safely and gently.
1. Hide Their Meals and Litter Box
Exercise is not something that indoor catsoften are interested in doing, and this contributes to their obesity problems. By rearranging your cat’s food bowl and litter box around the room, you can encourage more movement. Place them in a different location each day so that your cat has to go out of his way to find them and get some exercise in the process. You could put them on the floor where they spend the least amount of time, or you could put them on different floors so that they have to go up and down the stairs on a regular basis.
2. Use a Treat Toy or Feeding Ball
Cats aren’t scared to put in some effort in exchange for rewards. Consider purchasing or making reward toys and feeding balls that will entice your cat to swap some physical effort for a tasty treat. Not only do they transform meals into playtime, but they also give both cerebral and physical stimulation to the participants. Because these toys release food a small amount at a time, they can also assist to slow down the rate at which your cat consumes food.
3. Spread Out Meals
If you just feed your cat once a day, this routine may encourage your cat to overindulge in food. Instead, consider distributing their typical quantity of food across a number of feeding occasions. Providing your cat with several little meals throughout the day can prevent him from being overly hungry at one point in the day.
This method might also be beneficial if you’re progressively decreasing the amount of food you give your cat. In the event that you’re reducing your cat’s calorie intake, providing them with more opportunities to eat will prevent them from whining from hunger.
4. Try Using an Automatic Feeder That Opens Based on a Timer
An automated feeder is another technique that cat owners may employ to combat obesity in their cats. The food is released via an automated feeder at a predetermined time each day, precisely monitoring and managing the quantity of calories your cat consumes, even when you are not around. To keep your cat from overeating, use a timer-based feeder rather than one that opens based on your cat’s movements.
5. Add Water or Replace With Water
To make your cat feel fuller even if they are eating less food than they were previously, mix some water into the cat’s diet. If you’re giving us dried food, you may increase the quantity of water you put into their meal to make it more nutritious. Adding water also helps to increase their hydration, which is important because dehydration is a prevalent problem for cats. You may get the same result by adding water to wet or canned food as well. Alternatively, if your cat is still clamoring for food when it isn’t mealtime, consider providing them with new drinking water.
Alternatively, you might provide a hydrating snack that is low in calories, such as our Instant Goat’s Milk for cats.
6. Play for 30 Minutes
Cats are inherently jovial and entertaining creatures. Make an effort to spend at least 30 minutes each day playing with your cat and utilizing a range of toys. Not only does this contribute to the strengthening of your relationship, but it also raises their calorie expenditure. Make a note of this time on your daily “to-do” list to ensure that you don’t forget. If your cat is constantly begging for food, consider involving them in play instead of feeding them. Some cats will completely forget about their urge to eat if they are given your full and complete attention.
7. Go for a Walk
Pet walks aren’t only for canines anymore! Taking a walk around the neighborhood can be beneficial for your cat as well, provided your pet has the correct temperament for it. A cat should be harnessed and leashed, rather than wearing a collar, according to Texas Humane Heroes. As they become adjusted to the leash, provide them with plenty of goodies to encourage them to enjoy the procedure. Allow your cat to take the lead on the first few walks to get them used to the procedure. Never tug your cat while on a leash when walking with them.
8. Replace High-Carb Foods With Filler-Free Cat Foods
The amount of cat food you feed your cat is only one component of a successful weight-loss strategy. It is also important to consider the quality of the meal. Cats are carnivores who eat a diet rich in raw protein in the wild, yet many commercial cat meals and kibbles are heavy in carbs and heavily processed. As the first component of a high-quality meal, such as our grain-free cat food, carefully obtained protein is used to create it. Aside from that, they are devoid of grains and other fillers.
Therefore, every cup has the nourishment your cat requires without the excess carbohydrates and calories that they do not require. The Honest Kitchen offers a variety of delectable, lean, human-grade cat meals that are ideal for indoor cats. Take a look at these products:
- Foods such as Grain Free Turkey Dehydrated Cat Food, Grain Free Salmon-Turkey Pâté, Minced Chicken in Bone Broth Gravy, and Grain Free Salmon-Turkey Pâté are available.
Recommended Reading:Grain Free and Cats: Is Grain Free Food Bad for Cats? Is Grain Free Food Bad for Cats?
9. Switch to Lean Meat Foods
Making the move from fatty or carb-heavy diets to a high-protein diet that includes lean meats such as chicken or turkey is an excellent method to assist yourcat in losing weight while also boosting their nutrition.
10. If You Have Multiple Cats, Separate Them During Feeding Time
It may seem unusual, but separating your cats at meals will assist your overweight cat(s) in reaching their weight loss objectives more quickly and effectively. In the event that you’re giving your overweight catorobese cat a specific diet, you’ll want to make certain that they’re the only ones who are eating it. When the cats aren’t all chowing down at the same time, it’s much simpler to observe what they’re eating and how much they’re consuming. Aside from that, cats have a tendency to overeat when they see other cats as competitors.
Allow them 10 to 15 minutes to finish their meals before removing the bowls.
If you are unable to feed them in separate rooms, consider feeding them in the same room with the door closed, but at various times during the day or night.
The following is recommended reading: Pica in Cats: What It Is, Common Causes, and Treatment Options
Try High-Quality, Human Grade Cat Foods That Cats Love
The quality of your cat’s food, as well as the amount of food you provide your cat, are two essential components of any effective weight-loss regimen. Another is selecting food that your cat genuinely enjoys and that also fits their dietary needs. That is why our high-quality, human-grade recipes are an excellent choice for cats who are trying to lose weight. In addition to providing the nourishment your cat requires to be active, our high-quality meats and flavorful seasonings give the taste they require to enjoy the food you’ve prepared for them.
Health Disclaimer: This material is intended to be educational in nature and does not represent medical advice in any kind.
Meet the Author:Ben Kerns
Ben Kerns is a San Diego-based freelance writer, photographer, and outdoor enthusiast who lives and works in the city. Whenever he isn’t working, you can find him traveling the world in search of new spots to climb large boulders. He’s also obsessively focused on finding the cheapest way possible to support his outdoor passions while staying as healthy as possible. This material may get rather pricey very quickly.
Cat Obesity: How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight
What exactly is obesity? In the United States, obesity is defined as being overweight by 15 to 20% of one’s optimal body weight. Pet obesity is prevalent in North America, with up to 44 percent of the pet population being fat, making it the most frequent nutritional disease among cats and dogs. What is the best way to tell whether my cat is overweight? Humans may find it useful to use published charts when establishing the appropriate weight for a particular body size and build. Because our pets have such a wide range of body sizes and shapes, charts are not as useful as they once were.
- What is a bodily condition score (BCS) and how does it work?
- Pets are graded on a scale from 1 to 9 out of 9, with 5 being the optimal body weight for the species.
- A cat that is extremely obese (9/9) would have a layer of fat over his/her ribs, fat deposits in front of the hips and at the neck, and a protruding tummy, among other characteristics.
- What is causing my cat’s weight gain?
- Excess calories are converted into fat in the body by the body.
- Each individual cell has the ability to grow or shrink in size depending on the quantity of fat that is stored inside it.
- In order to avoid becoming obesity as an adult, cats who grow overweight as kittens have greater difficulty maintaining or reducing weight, and they are more likely to become obese as adults.
Is it possible that my cat is inclined to obesity?
Early-onset obesity, old age, overweight owners, a sedentary lifestyle (which is especially frequent for indoor cats), competition for food, and a free-fed diet are all factors that contribute to feline obesity (as opposed to meal-fed).
What are the health hazards associated with having an overweight pet?
Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) and lower urinary tract issues are common in overweight cats, as is urinary tract obstruction.
What are some of the advantages of losing weight?
Among its many benefits are the ability to reduce stress on joints (which is especially important for pets with arthritis), aid in the facilitation of examinations and surgical procedures, improve cardiovascular function, increase athleticism, and reduce or eliminate the need for some medications used to treat medical conditions.
The treatment or exclusion of any underlying medical issues in a pet is required in order for the creature to reduce weight.
Whenever you are attempting to reduce weight, your objective should be to shed fat while maintaining lean body mass. Three components are necessary for a safe and efficient weight-loss program:
- Increasing the quantity of activity your cat receives is recommended. Changing the manner in which you feed your cat
- Limiting the number of calories your cat consumes
What kind of exercise does my cat require? If you want your pet to reduce weight, you must play an active role in his or her exercise regimen. In order to progressively increase the quantity of exercise your cat receives if he or she is not used to it, you must first introduce it gently. Begin with exercising for 10 minutes three times a week, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising until you are exercising for at least 30 minutes every day. If you exercise your cat for at least 15 minutes twice a day, it will help him or her burn more calories, boost his or her metabolic rate, and maintain his or her lean body mass.
- You may also use catnip to promote and improve your cat’s playtime by putting some in his food.
- What changes should I make to my feeding strategy?
- Given the additional effort required from you and your family, this will assist you in avoiding overeating.
- Ideally, your cat should eat two or more modest meals throughout the day to keep hunger and begging to a minimum and decrease stress.
- The first step in lowering energy consumption is to reduce the amount of snacks and/or sweets consumed.
- If you do decide to provide treats, make sure to only give them to your pets in little amounts.
- The only rewards that should be offered are low-calorie snacks or catnip.
What portion of food should I give my cat?
The quantity of calories your cat consumes is determined by the amount of energy your pet requires each day as well as the amount of exercise he or she receives.
Is there a standard for diet pet foods?
Diet cat diets have a wide range of calorie limitation compared to one another.
This option may differ depending on whether or not your cat is suffering from any other medical conditions at the same time.
Caloric intake, as previously noted, is a vital component of successful weight loss efforts.
A typical problem, especially at the beginning of a weight-loss program, is constipation.
As a result, your cat is likely to experience hunger.
You may try to alleviate this problem by providing your cat with several little meals throughout the day.
Limited-calorie diets are intended to assist cats in losing weight without making them feel deprived of their favorite foods.
Can you tell me how long it will take my cat to attain his or her desired body weight?
Generally speaking, cats may safely shed around 1.5 percent of their body weight every week until they reach their ideal weight.
During this time, you are welcome to drop into the hospital to get your pet weighed.
Because obesity promotes a propensity to accumulating weight, it is likely that your cat will need to be fed a special diet to maintain his or her optimal body weight.
It is critical that you feed your pet the proper amount of food in order to keep him or her at his or her appropriate body weight. Is your cat’s weight or nutrition causing you concern? Do you have any questions? Please get in touch with us!
Easy Ways to Help Your Cat Lose Weight
Losing weight is difficult for all animals, two-legged and four-legged alike. Cats are particularly hard struck by this difficulty, with a staggering 59.5 percent of cats in the United States categorized as overweight or obese, the highest rate of any companion animal (as compared to 55.8 percent in dogs). 1 In all, an estimated 56 million cats (and 50 million dogs) are overweight or obese, according to estimates. What is the source of this concern? In part because, like in humans, obesity is connected with major health problems in cats as well.
- Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, joint injuries, and high blood pressure are among conditions that can occur.
According to research, obese and overweight cats are three times more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes than their trimmer, normal-weight counterparts. Additionally, they have a shorter life span and do not engage in as much physical interaction with their owners. The good news is that there are some tried-and-true methods for assisting your cat in losing those excess pounds. So let’s get this party started!
1. Talk with Your Veterinarian about Your Cat’s Weight
Veterinarian care is especially necessary for cats since losing too much weight too soon can result in a life-threatening liver illness known ashepatic lipidosis, which can be fatal in certain cases (also known as fatty liver disease). This occurs when the body breaks down an excessive amount of fat at an excessively rapid rate, and the liver is unable to handle it quickly enough. Because of this, fat is deposited within and surrounding the liver, resulting to a reduction in liver function and in rare cases, liver failure.
- If this condition is not detected and treated early and aggressively, it can be deadly.
- It may be necessary to prescribe a prescription diet in order to assist your pet feel fuller on less food.
- Instead, introduce the change gradually over a period of 1–2 weeks, occasionally 3 weeks (for more information on how to adjust your cat’s diet, see this article).
- Inquire as to whether your cat is at the proper height, too high, or even too low.
- Knowing what you want to achieve is quite beneficial.
- As a result, when your veterinarian inquires, you will be prepared and will be able to get the most out of your pet’s appointment.
As demonstrated in the photographs below, you can also photograph the front and back of your cat’s kibble bag or canned food so that you can learn about the formulation and contents. You may also photograph any treats that you feed your cat on a regular basis so that you can learn about them.
2. Pay Attention to How Much You’re Feeding Your Cat
This may be accomplished by purchasing a set of dry measuring cups that are particularly designed for your pet’s food. They’re affordable and simple to get by, as well. Alternatively, you may make feeding your cat even more accurate without spending a lot of money by investing in a little kitchen scale that allows you to weigh the amount of food you’re feeding him.
Use Your Pet Food Scoop Correctly
Most pet food scoops include thin lines on the inside that show where the cup measures (e.g. 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc.) are located (see illustration). It is not necessary to use your scoop if it does not contain these lines; instead, use correct measuring cups. Avoid putting “just a little bit” extra food above the measuring lines by following the guidelines above. Those inconsequential sums pile up over time, particularly for smaller creatures under 25 lbs., such as cats. OXO Possessing Secure Holding Set of Plastic Measuring Cups Additionally, if you want to feed your cat by weight rather than volume, consider purchasing a portable and easy-to-clean digital pet food scale/scoop combination.
More information may be found in this post titled “How Much and How Often You Should Feed Your Cat.”
3. Consider What You’re Feeding Your Cat
Not only is how much you feed your cat crucial, but also what you feed him. Keep an eye out for “diet” kibble from commercial sources. They are frequently inflated with air. You may believe that you are providing sufficient nutrition for your cat, but they will continue to be hungry since the air does not provide any actual fullness. Furthermore, a cat who is constantly hungry might become aggressive and less tolerant of other pets and people. Who can blame them, after all? I’d feel a little “hangry” as well!
- In addition, make certain that the first three elements on the ingredient list are comprised of a high-quality protein source.
- The high water content and density make this a particularly satisfying meal.
- As a result, your cat may consume a significantly greater volume of food while still keeping under their daily calorie limit.
- Try mixing in a little amount of canned pumpkin into your cat’s diet.
Start with 1/8th teaspoon and work your way up to roughly a teaspoon each day over time. Make certain that it is pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. In order to ensure that nothing goes to waste in the fridge, you may divide out portions in an ice cube tray and freeze them.
4. Weigh Your Cat Regularly
When your pet’s weight is recorded, it may be a reliable predictor of his or her overall health. Pet owners who track their pet’s weight on a regular basis, rather of simply during yearly check-ups, are more likely to notice tiny variations in weight that could otherwise be overlooked. As a result of their tiny stature, which makes gradual weight loss or increase more difficult to detect in cats, this is especially crucial for them. Consider the following for an average 10-pound cat: If you lose only 6 percent of your body weight, or less than 10 ounces, it might be an indication of a medical concern if it occurs over a short period of time (less than a week).
A few pounds of weight increase may go unnoticed for a short period of time, but over time, those few pounds begin to accumulate.
How to Weigh Your Cat
Being weighed is something that many cats (as well as dogs and people) despise doing. Here are a few pointers on how to determine your cat’s weight at home:
- Begin by stepping on the scale and weighing yourself. Make a note of your current weight and height. Make a gentle pick-up of your cat, ensuring that they are well-supported in your arms. Holding them in your hands, step on the scale and weigh yourself and the cat all at the same time. Make a note of the total weight of the items. In order to determine the weight of your cat, subtract your own weight from the combined weight. If your cat does not enjoy being carried about, you may use a cat carrier instead. To begin, weigh the cat carrier while it is completely empty. Record the weight of the carrier in your notes. Placing your cat in the carrier and ensuring that the door is firmly closed is essential. Take a weight reading of the carrier with your cat inside. Make a note of the total weight of the items. Calculate the weight of your cat by subtracting the weight of the empty carrier from the combined weight. Another approach is to throw a towel or non-skid pad on the scale and then have your pet step on it once it has been reset to “0.” A simple change in the surface of the scale may often make pets feel more secure on it, which encourages them to stay on it for longer periods of time. Purchase a low-cost digital scale that is suited for newborns and small dogs if you want greater precision. They are more exact in measuring pounds and ounces
- Thus, they are the most appropriate for usage since they are more accurate.
IMAGINE THIS DIGITAL SCALE FOR INFANTS AND PETS
5. Monitor Your Cat’s Treat Intake
Treats may be a source of happiness for cats, just as they can be for dogs. And there are a plethora of options available, making it tough to make the best decision for your cat’s overall health. We recommend that you read our article “Choosing the Best Cat Treats,” which has some helpful advice. Most cat treats, in contrast to commercially produced cat diets, are not nutritionally full and balanced. Due to the fact that the amount of carbohydrate required to manufacture a crispy cat treat is typically too high for cats, this is the case.
Cats that consume an excessive amount of treats not only become overweight and fat, but they can also have a negative influence on their nutritional balance and appetite for their normal meal.
Ensure that the sweets you choose are healthful and that they haven’t been seasoned with salt, preservatives, or artificial coloring.
6. Increase Physical Exercise for Your Cat
Increase the amount of everyday activity your cat receives. For cats, this frequently manifests itself in the form of interactive play with their human companion. As well as letting your cat express their hunting instincts, offering mental and physical stimulation, and strengthening the link between the two of you, this activity burns calories while also enriching their lives. The sessions do not have to be particularly long, but they should be predictable in their duration (for example, daily at about the same time).
- It imitates the motion of a bird in flight.
- This toy fosters natural behaviors and physical activity, which will help to keep your cat healthy and active.
- When cats are playing with toys that look like birds, they can improve their hearing by engaging their sense of hearing.
- Original Feather Wand Toy by Da Bird If your cat enjoys chasing after objects, you may take a bit of their regular kibble and use it to engage in a small game with them.
- This is an excellent method of getting them to move.
- It is important to remember that the usage of laser pointers may result in frustration if the cat is unable to capture the prey (that is, the light from the laser).
- There is a deadline for them to complete the search and catch process.
- This is another excellent source of exercise, provided that it is done in a safe manner.
- Please keep in mind that, just as humans can’t go out and run a marathon without first preparing our body, our pets can’t do the same.
When it comes to obese or geriatric pets, as well as those who have health difficulties, going slowly is very crucial. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most effective manner to begin and maintain an exercise regimen. The race is won by those who go slowly and steadily.
7. Use Slow-Feeders, Interactive Food Puzzles, or Hide and Seek
Slowing down the rate at which your pet consumes his or her food will encourage him or her to stop when he or she is satisfied, rather than devouring their meal regardless of whether or not they are hungry. This may be accomplished by substituting a puzzle or interactive object for the traditional bowl of food on the table. Another method of slowing down their eating is to add some water to their meal before serving it to them. More information may be found in the article, “The Best Cat Food Bowls and Interactive Feeders to Delight Your Kitty,” which can be found here.
Under the sofa, on the dining room chair, under a cushion — all of these places provide opportunities for your cat to utilize their noses and go searching.
Dry Food Feeders That Cats Can Push, Chase, and Hunt
Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree Cat Feeder is a high-tech cat feeder. Cat Feeder from DocPhoebe for use indoors while hunting.
Feeders That Also Work with Wet Cat Food
Get ahold of the Interactive Pet Feeder. Catit Digger Cat Food Puzzle Catit Digger Cat Food Puzzle
8. Monitor for Medical Problems that Contribute to Cat Weight Gain
Consult with your veterinarian to determine whether your cat has a medical issue that might be contributing to his or her excessive weight gain (such as a low-functioning thyroid, overactive adrenal gland, a buildup of fluid, or one of any other number of possible underlying conditions). If your cat has been given the all-clear, talk to them about a safe and successful weight-loss strategy that they may follow. In order to be safe and successful, weight reduction in pets should be gradual and continuous.
9. Don’t Free Feed Your Cat
When feeding your cat, remember that even if he or she is a “grazer” (meaning that they do not consume all of their food at once but rather eat slowly throughout the day), you must properly measure out their food to ensure that they receive proper nutrition and the appropriate amount of calories each day. Make sure you aren’t just filling their bowl at random. Pet obesity and overweight are on the rise, and free feeding makes it much more harder to detect early indications of discomfort and other issues.
For additional information on this subject, please see our article “Think Twice Before Allowing Your Dog or Cat to Free Feed.” Additionally, leaving food out is not a good idea.
Alternatively, if it becomes damp, it can mildew, which can make your cat sick if they consume it.
How to Manage Your Cat’s Calorie Reduction
When feeding your cat, remember that even if he or she is a “grazer” (meaning that they do not consume all of their food at once but rather eat slowly throughout the day), you must properly measure out their food to ensure that they receive adequate nutrition and the appropriate amount of calories each day. Maintain consistency in the amount of food you serve them. Pet obesity and overweight are on the rise, and free feeding makes it much more difficult to detect early symptoms of discomfort and other issues.
For additional information on this subject, see our article “Think Twice Before Allowing Your Dog or Cat to Free Feed.” Furthermore, putting food out is not a good practice.
Because the food might become stale, your pet may become disinterested in consuming it. If your cat consumes the food, it may become ill as a result of the mold growing on the food.
How Quickly Should I Cut Back My Cat’s Food?
The majority of people are unable to maintain a diet when they are forced to severely reduce their calorie intake. Your cat isn’t able to either! Reduce the amount of food consumed at each meal by little amounts at a time until the appropriate portion size is attained. Reduce the amount of food served at each meal by 14 teaspoons, for example. Slow and steady wins the race!
What Rate of Weight Loss is Ideal for Cats?
Your cat can safely lose 0.5–2 percent of their body weight every week, depending on their age and breed. In the case of a 20-pound cat, it is possible for them to shed 0.2–0.4 pounds (or around 4 ounces) every week. It is OK to drop less than that amount every week; but, your weight reduction strategy will take longer to complete. Depending on how much weight reduction is required, you should anticipate your cat to attain their optimal body weight in 6–8 months, depending on how much weight loss is required.
Your veterinarian can assist you in determining the amount of weight that they can and should shed in a given month.
This process of weight loss and control for your cat is best handled by your veterinarian, who can answer any questions you have and lead you through this process.
Simple Ways to Help Your Cat Lose Weight
If your cat’s physician has informed you that your feline companion is far heavier than they should be, you are not alone in your concerns. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, around 60 percent of cats in the United States were classed as overweight as recently as 2018. And it isn’t simply a concern for domestic cats in the United States: According to International Cat Care, between 39 and 52 percent of cats in the United Kingdom are overweight. But, how can one go about assisting a cat in losing weight?
Follow these instructions as you embark on your path to assist your cat in losing weight.
Is My Cat Overweight?
If you’re not sure whether your cat is overweight, there’s a simple way to evaluate their size at home — no scale needed! TheCornell Feline Health Centerrecommends using the Body Condition Score, a three-step system:
- Perform a rib check by running both hands around either side of your cat’s rib cage, palms down. Side-by-side inspection of your cat’s profile Check from above: Stand over them and look down
Your cat is likely overweight if you are unable to feel the ribs or see the waistline of the animal. Taking your cat to the veterinarian for an overall health check and to rule out any underlying causes of the weight increase is the best way to determine whether or not your cat is overweight and to determine their optimal weight.
How to Help a Cat Lose Weight
You and your cat’s veterinarian must work together to develop a nutrition and activity plan for your feline companion once you’ve determined that your cat is overweight. “Eat better, play more,” is a wonderful slogan to follow when it comes to your cat’s weight loss regimen.
Choosing the Right Food for Weight Loss
Nutrition plays a vital part in weight reduction, but before making any changes to your cat’s diet plan — and especially before reducing the amount of food you feed them — you should contact with your veterinarian to prevent causing any potential health problems for them. In the words of the American Animal Hospital Association, “Crash diets are not good for anybody, but for cats in particular, a crash diet can precipitate a potentially deadly liver condition.” While this is the worst-case situation, any change to your cat’s feeding plan will have an impact on their health, so be sure to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes.
If your cat needs to drop a significant amount of weight, your veterinarian may offer a therapeutic diet that has been carefully made to assist your cat in reaching a healthy weight.
Also included in its formulation is the ability to supply sufficient protein, vitamins, and minerals to guarantee that your cat may lose weight healthily even though they are eating less calories each day.
While you may believe that your cat would despise you, they will be quite delighted with the additional hugs and fun that you provide for them.
How ExerciseFitness Can Help
Even though cats are normally sedentary creatures, be sure to keep them active during the hours they are awake! The consumption of nutritious food is only one component in weight reduction. Consider yourself to be the personal trainer for your cat. Toss a tiny toy around for them to pursue, or make a cat scratching post out of scrap wood. Even a wadded-up sheet of paper will provide hours of entertainment for your little hunter. Activities should be varied to keep kids interested. Trying to find a way to include exercise into your cat’s eating schedule?
Your cat will have to work to get their food out of these special bowls, which will help them burn off some of those excess calories.
Preventing Your Cat From Packing on Pounds
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, a 10-pound cat should consume between 180 and 200 calories per day on average. It is crucial to discuss your cat’s specific needs with your veterinarian in order to receive a customised advice. Generally speaking, a healthy pace of weight reduction is one-half to two percent of body weight each week, but your veterinarian will be the most knowledgeable about setting particular objectives. Establishing a consistent feeding regimen for your cat is also essential for helping him maintain his weight loss.
Observe their feeding patterns to establish the optimum meal practices for your cat in order to assist them in reaching their ideal weight loss.
After all, maintaining a healthy weight helps kids to be more active and play more, resulting in an overall higher quality of life for them.
How to Feed Your Cat So It Stops Begging and Starts Losing Weight
Kittens who are given an acceptable quantity of calories each day will get hungry (in the wild, you look for food while you still have adequate calories). As a result, feeding a cat until it is satisfied is nearly always considered overfeeding, unless the cat is a kitten that is actively developing and under eight months of age. Cats naturally consume numerous tiny meals each day as a result of their hunting and devouring of the prey they catch. If your cat has access to a dish of dry food, it may consume many little meals of a high-calorie diet with little effort on his or her behalf, which is a formula for weight gain.
Domestic Cats Retain Their Wild Appetites
Cats who are fed have a lower caloric need per day than cats who must forage for, catch, and eat their food for a livelihood on their own. Cats experience a large decline in activity and metabolic rate as they age, but they do not experience a fall in hunger. Over time, this makes it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Your Cat May Have TrainedYouto Feed it
The act of feeding is a training exercise for both the cat and the person who is feeding him. Cats frequently focus on the actions and acts that provide as a preview of when they will be fed and attempt to get the feeder to engage in similar behaviors and acts. For example, feeding the cats as soon as you get out of bed in the morning is a smart practice to follow. The cats will frequently attempt to get the person out of bed in the morning so that they may be fed earlier and earlier in the day.
Another example is the cat racing into the kitchen every time the refrigerator door is opened because they know that’s where you keep the canned food since they know where it is.
A Hungry Cat Often Looks for Mischief
Yet another thing to consider is that a hungry cat is a busy cat, frequently searching out food, stalking or being cranky towards the other cats (which it blames for eating the food that isn’t there), annoying others in the home, or participating in other destructive actions. It is beneficial for the cat to be busy in that it encourages him to be more active, which helps him burn calories; nevertheless, his family does not always enjoy the nature of his work. When a cat is fed in response to these actions, the cat is encouraged to continue acting in this manner.
Choosing Between Dry Food, Canned Food, Or Both
In general, it is not necessary to provide cats with a variety of flavors and textures. They become quite adept at teaching their owners to add something different to the mix if the cat shows any signs of reluctance to consume what is being offered. If the cat is generally performing normally, refusing to eat what is presented might be considered typical behavior, or it can be seen as the cat testing the waters to see if anything better will appear. Very, very few cats require any kind of incentive to consume their food.
Canned Food is the Best Choice For Healthy Cats
There are a variety of reasons why canned food is preferable than dried food. However, it is more expensive to feed as well as more difficult to clean up after. Cats in the wild are fresh-kill hunters, and they consume the majority of their water together with their prey. They do not have a strong need to drink on their own without eating. I feel that most dry food cats do not ingest enough water, causing stress on their kidneys and the production of excessively concentrated urine. The water content of canned food is similar to that of their prey in the wild.
Canned food also has a lower carbohydrate content as compared to dry food (since dry food cannot be made without wheat) and a greater protein content as a result.
The majority of cats require 4-5 ounces of canned food each day on average.
Dry Food: An Affordable, but Less-Healthy Option
Dry food contains a high concentration of calories. It does not contain any water, thus it cannot add volume to the dish. As a result, giving just dry food implies that your cat will be hungrier even if he or she is getting an acceptable quantity of calories in the meal due to the reduced volume of food provided.
Free choice dry food, even if it is low in calories, will not prevent weight gain if consumed in this manner.
How to Control Your Cat’s Weight on a Dry Food Diet
The most effective way to distribute dry food is to divide it into many little regulated portions throughout the day. As a result, the cat is never completely satisfied and never completely hungry. Most cats will get very hungry if their dry food intake is reduced to less than 1/3 to 1/12 cup each 24 hour day, even if they are receiving an acceptable amount of calories. Cats require different amounts of food at different stages of their lives, and the quantity required by each cat will vary (and maybe decrease) as the cat grows older.
This should not be done with cats that have a history of urinary tract crystals (FLUTD) since the vegetables elevate the pH of the urine, which makes the cat more susceptible to crystal formation.
Beware Feeding Your Cat Both Dry and Canned Food
Feeding both canned and dry food is the most efficient method of obtaining and maintaining an overweight cat. Even if a cat has just finished its dry food, the majority of them will happily consume any canned food that is supplied (or vice versa). It is difficult to manage the amount of each type of food consumed so that the cat consumes the appropriate number of calories.
Feeding Recommendations From Your Local Veterinarian
My initial preference is to eat just canned food. In the beginning, feed an adult cat 12 of an 8-ounce can (Friskies/9 Lives-size can) twice daily without adding any more food. This is the beginning point, and it is probable that the amount will need to be reduced. Little cats may benefit from half of an 8-ounce can (Fancy Feast-size can) twice day, rather than the full can. This quantity is also cat-specific, and it is frequently adjusted upwards or downwards. It appears that feeding canned food creates a better balance between calories and feeling full, and the meal appears to tide the cat over more effectively than feeding dry food does.
Recommendations For Owners Who Stick with Dry Food
Dry food can be provided, but it must be done with care, in small portions, during set meals, and without snacking. The components in today’s dry meals are considerably superior, allowing for a larger amount of useful calories per cup, resulting in even less servings being required as compared to the Little Friskies of 30 years ago. While providing many feedings throughout the day is beneficial, it may also be a cause of dispute as the cat attempts to get fed in between feedings. There should be no open dishes of food on the table.
It is sometimes beneficial to remove the bowls from the table so that there is no reminder of the lack of food, in order to prevent begging.
Pre-measure Your Cat’s Food to Keep From Overfeeding
The most effective way is to measure out a day’s (24-hour) ration in the morning and then feed out of that container to deliver feedings throughout the day that follows. When the container is completely depleted, there will be no more food till the next day. There will be more involvement in feeding since more people will be involved, and they will not be fooled into supplying more food because the cat claims that someone forgot to feed them and that they are going to perish from malnutrition.
A further advantage of measuring by weight is that it allows for considerably smaller alterations in daily meal portions than can be accomplished with precision by volume measurement (a 10 percent change in a quarter cup is almost impossible to do accurately by volume measure).
A excellent food scale may be purchased for roughly $50 dollars at places like Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Weigh Your Cat to Ensure a Healthy Rate of Weight-Loss
The most important thing to remember is that access must be limited regardless of diet. Additionally, a scale for correctly weighing the cat comes in helpful. By weighing the person both with and without carrying the kitten, digital scales may be used to determine weight. Weights taken once a month at the same time of day are sufficient. We’re looking for roughly a pound of weight loss every month, not more. In cats, rapid weight loss can lead to major health problems, such as kidney failure.
It is a tailored regimen for each kitty, just as it is for people, and coping with the behavioral implications of a hungry cat can be one of the most difficult problems.