Creating a Weight Reduction Plan for Cats
Weight reduction is difficult for everyone, whether they are two- or four-legged! However, decreasing weight and getting into better condition will not only extend your cat’s life, but it can also make those extra years more joyful for your cat, as well. It may be less difficult than you think to assist your cuddly pet in losing a few pounds. Just a firm dedication to weight reduction and exercise, meticulous attention to detail, and the support of your veterinary healthcare team are all that are required.
Why should my cat lose weight?
Getting rid of excess weight is difficult for anyone, two- or four-legged! Dieting and exercising, on the other hand, can not only extend your cat’s life span, but they can also make those extra years more pleasurable for your cat. It may be less difficult than you think to assist your cuddly pet in losing a few pounds! Just a firm dedication to weight reduction and exercise, meticulous attention to detail, and the support of your veterinary healthcare team are all that are need.
- A cat that is obese is three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than a cat that is of normal weight. Other health problems that an obese cat may develop include heart disease, osteoarthritis (arthritis), increased frequency of joint injuries, high blood pressure, and some cancers, particularly intra-abdominal cancers.
Cats that are overweight or obese tend to have shorter lives than their counterparts that are fit and of average weight. Heavy cats are less physically interactive with their family and are less lively and playful than their lighter counterparts. Because they tend to spend more time lying around, it is easier to ignore early indicators of disease in them because we may ascribe their lethargy to their regular laziness, rather than to illness. Humans and our cuddly pets are only now beginning to understand how dangerous and life-threatening a few more pounds may be for both of us.
How should I begin a weight loss program for my cat?
Theoretically, losing weight appears to be straightforward: less calories consumed + more calories expended equals weight reduction. Unfortunately, things are not quite so straightforward. It is never recommended to put an obese cat on a diet without first consulting a veterinarian. “Cats can acquire a life-threatening form of liver illness known as hepatic lipidosis if they do not consume food for as little as two consecutive days.” As opposed to humans or dogs, cats have a unique physiology that can lead to a life-threatening form of liver illness known as hepatic lipidosis if they do not consume any food for as little as two consecutive days (also called fatty liver syndrome).
If your cat is overweight, your veterinarian will do a physical examination of him and will likely prescribe some diagnostic tests to confirm that he does not have any underlying ailments or impediments to weight loss.
How much should I feed my cat to promote weight loss?
In order to answer this question, your veterinarian will evaluate your cat and estimate its appropriate body weight based on its body size and build, as well as its overall health. To aid your veterinarian in estimating this weight, as well as the quantity of calories necessary to attain it in a safe manner, formulas and charts have been established. The average domestic cat should weigh between 8 and 10 pounds, according to the American Feline Association (3.6-4.4 kg). The degree of obesity in your cat may lead to your veterinarian recommending an initial goal weight that is greater than the recommended weight for your feline companion.
However, a more realistic beginning aim may be 15 pounds (4.4 kg) (6.8 kg).
A re-evaluation will be performed when the cat has lost the required amount of weight to evaluate whether more weight reduction is required. Here are some rough suggestions for calculating your cat’s daily calorie requirements depending on his or her weight:
|Ideal weight (lbs)||Calories (kcal) required to meet 80% RER per day|
Please keep in mind that this is simply a general guideline and should not be considered a substitute for your veterinarian’s precise advice. However, if your cat does not lose weight on this quantity of calories, the overall amount of calories must be cut even further. It is dependent on the calorie content of the meal on how much food is required to give this number of calories. The amount of food that will be required to deliver this number of calories will be determined by the calorie content of the food being used to meet the calorie requirement.
This information will need to be obtained from the manufacturer if you want to purchase food from a source that does not provide it on the label.
One of the reasons canned diet foods work better is that fussy felines frequently prefer wet food to dry food, which is one of the reasons they work better.
When beginning a weight-loss program, it is critical that you count calories and measure the quantity of food you consume.
What makes veterinary weight loss diets special?
Take note that this is simply a broad guideline and is not intended to take the place of particular suggestions from your veterinarian. The overall number of calories must be lowered more if your cat does not lose weight on this quantity of calories. “The amount of food that will be required to give this number of calories will be determined by the calorie content of that meal.” The amount of food that will be required to deliver this number of calories will be determined by the calorie content of the food being used to meet the calorie requirements.
If you want to utilize an alternate source of food that does not have this information on the label, you will need to contact the manufacturer in order to obtain this information.
It is possible that picky felines prefer wet food over dry food, which is one of the reasons canned diet meals are more effective.
In order to successfully begin a weight-loss program, it is critical that you calculate your calories and track your intake. Too much food results in no weight reduction, and too little food might result in major health effects such as hepatic lipidosis (a fatty liver condition).
How quickly should I introduce the new reducing diet to my cat?
Please keep in mind that this is simply a broad guideline and should not be considered a substitute for the particular advice of your veterinarian. The overall quantity of calories will need to be lowered more if your cat does not lose weight on this amount of calories. It is dependent on the calorie content of the meal on how much food is required to give this number of calories. ” The amount of food required to give this number of calories will be determined by the amount of calories contained in the meal.
Using an other source of food that does not have this information on the label will need contacting the manufacturer in order to obtain it.
One of the reasons canned diet meals perform better than dry diet foods is that fussy felines frequently prefer wet food to dry food.
You must count calories and monitor the amount of food you consume before beginning a weight-loss program.
What suggestions do you have to encourage my cat get more exercise?
Our perfect world would include jogging with our kitties, but we don’t live in an ideal world, so we have to make do with what we have. Getting our cats to participate in aerobic activity is not only challenging, but it also goes against their natural instinctive behavior. Cats were not built to behave as scavengers and cooperative hunters in the same manner that people and dogs were created to work in the past. Cats, on the other hand, developed as stalkers who wasted relatively little energy in pursuit of their prey and did not go far from their home region.
The majority of wild cats chase after their prey at peak speed for less than a minute at a time.
Cats in our homes are essentially smaller replicas of the wild felines that roam the countryside.
Cats prefer to sprint 100 yards rather than run a marathon.
As a result, because cats are obligate carnivores, the dietary guidelines that apply to people do not apply to them.” Because cats are obligate carnivores (that is, they consume meat because it is biologically necessary for them to do so), the dietary guidelines for people do not apply to them.
Many cats will lose weight more efficiently on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet as a result of this factor in their nutritional needs. You’ll have to use your skill and imagination to persuade your clumsy cat to get some extra exercise. Some straightforward suggestions are as follows:
- The food dish should be moved to a variety of various locations throughout the home (such as upstairs or downstairs), and rotated so that the cat always has a short walk to reach its food bowl. Cats are intelligent creatures, and if the food dish is moved upstairs, they will follow it to the new location. Keeping your cat’s feeding bowl as far away from his favorite hangouts as feasible is a good idea. Another thing to consider is that many overweight cats will sleep and lounge around the food dish so that they don’t have to travel far to have a snack. Even better, don’t put dry food in a cat bowl in the first place! In order for your cat to receive portions of food as a’reward,’ purchase specialized ‘feeding balls’ that need your cat to roll them around. In order to use these interactive devices, you must first load them with a precise amount of dry food, and then the cat must struggle to get the food out! You may even throw their food at them, causing them to chase after it during mealtimes. Make time for your cat to play with you. Fill the room with feather toys, laser pointers, paper or foil balls, or anything else that your cat will find amusing to chase about the house and yard. Ten minutes of playtime with your cat twice a day should be plenty. When eating, watching television, or even while reading, you may complete this task. Some of the various toys that move and squeak may prove to be fascinating to your feline companion. A diversity of foods is vital for many cats since what is fascinating today may become dull the next day. Make sure you reward your cat after any laser pointer play with a little treat, since some cats become upset when they are unable to catch anything.
The food bowl should be moved to a variety of various locations throughout the home (such as upstairs or downstairs) and rotated so that the cat always has a short walk to reach its food bowl. Kittens are perceptive, and if their food dish is relocated upstairs, they will relocate themselves to locate it; Keeping your cat’s feeding bowl as far away from his favorite hangouts as feasible is a good strategy. For the second time, many overweight cats will sleep and lounge around in close proximity to the food dish so that they do not have to travel far to acquire something to eat.
- In order for your cat to receive portions of food as a’reward,’ purchase special ‘feeding balls,’ which need your cat to roll them around.
- Additionally, you may throw their food at them so that they have to chase after it during mealtimes.
- Feather toys, laser pointers, paper or foil balls, or anything else that your cat finds amusing to pursue may be used to entertain them.
- When eating, watching television, or even while reading, you can complete this activity.
- A diversity of foods is vital for many cats since what is interesting today may become monotonous the next day.
How often should my cat come in for a recheck or weigh-in?
After you have started your cat on a weight loss program, it is vital that you monitor his progress to ensure that the program is effective. In general, your cat’s weight should be checked at least once a month until the optimal weight is reached for him. “Each cat is unique, and it may be necessary to make alterations to the recommended food or routine before determining the most effective strategy.” Each cat is unique, and it may be necessary to make tweaks to the recommended food or regimen before determining the most effective strategy.
Weight loss that happens at a rate that is greater than this might result in significant liver damage (hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver syndrome).
It is possible to get large benefits by making only a little adjustment sometimes.
When my cat is hungry, she pesters me until I feed her. Do you have any suggestions?
Many times, it is simpler to give in to the cat who wakes you up at four in the morning to be fed, or the cat that meows endlessly or head butts you until they are fed.
These cats have done an excellent job of training us and are well aware of which buttons to hit in order to get their way. Here are some pointers on how to deal with a persistent Persian or an insatiable Siamese:
- It is not recommended to utilize a self-feeder. While it may seem apparent, automated feeders are little more than candy dispensers for an overweight cat
- If you must use an automatic feeder, make sure it has a timer that opens when the cat is hungry. Thus, it will be easier for you to measure out the right amount and split it into daily portions. When your cat begs for food, pet her or engage in playful interaction with her. It is common for cats to trade food for love, thus reversing the equation may reveal that playtime takes the place of mealtime. Divide the whole amount or calories into four to six smaller meals and serve them periodically – especially if you have cats that like to wake you up in the middle of the night begging for more treats. Whatever you do, do not provide additional food. Instead of food, provide clean drinking water. If your cat is staring longingly at the empty food dish, a glass of cool, fresh water may be just what he or she needs.
I have more than one cat, but only one is overweight. How can I feed them different foods?
As a starting point, here are a few ideas that may inspire you to come up with additional innovative solutions for this problem.
- Feeding the cats individually is the best approach for families with many cats. Separately feed the overweight cat’s diet in one area, while simultaneously providing her with food in another room. Once you’ve given them a specified amount of time to eat, usually fifteen to thirty minutes, remove any uneaten food until the next meal
- Make sure you feed the normal-weight cat in a location where the overweight cat cannot get it. If there is a significant difference in size between your cats, you can design a variety of methods for allowing the smaller cat access to food where the larger cat cannot get to it. On a door, you may add a safety chain or a hook and eye clasp to ensure that the entrance opens just enough to allow the skinny cat to enter. Alternatives include using a huge box and cutting two small openings on the top and bottom of it, which will allow the smaller cat to come in and feed
- There are now commercial feeding stations that will only open if your cat’s microchip is recognized by the system. You should never leave food out while you are gone from home. When you are not present, you have no influence over who and what consumes what.
How long will my cat need to be on a diet?
Most cats will reach their target weight within six to eight months of starting their diet. If the procedure is taking far longer than this, something has to be done to speed it up. In order to maintain a healthy weight loss, about one pound per month should be achieved. Some cats may require a more gradual weight loss program, while others may require a more rapid one. “Most cats will reach their target weight within six to eight months,” says the veterinarian. For the majority of cats, the key to weight loss is a household that is dedicated, committed, and concerned.
As good stewards, it is our responsibility to safeguard them from harm and to ensure that we do not unintentionally contribute to their early death or the development of crippling diseases.
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.
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. One of the most difficult things to accomplish is to allow a cat to go hungry without encouraging the behaviors that arise as a result.
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
In general, it is not necessary to provide cats with a variety of tastes 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. The behavior of a cat that is generally healthy and well-behaved may include a decision not to consume what is supplied or a test to see if anything better will appear. Cats require relatively little encouragement to consume their food. Most of the time, the polar opposite is desired.
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).
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.
Overweight Cats: Diets and Associated Health Risks
Jack, the adult cat owned by Bea Sacks of Huntington Woods, Michigan, is referred to as “huge.” She, on the other hand, has no idea how much he weighs or whether he has to go on a diet. This is due to the fact that Jack, like many other housecats, feeds whenever he wants and rarely goes to the veterinarian for examination. If Jack gains even one pound over his desired body weight, he may be in serious danger of losing his job. The development of osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, respiratory difficulties, and non-allergic skin diseases in overweight cats is considerably more common than in lean cats.
It’s a good idea to take your dog to the veterinarian first to rule out any other problems.
It is impossible for the veterinarian to prevent you from rewarding your cat with goodies or from giving in to their mewling when you adjust their food. Keep in mind that a cat that is leaner and more fit will be happier and live longer.
Is Your Cat Fat?
A domestic shorthair should weigh between 8 and 10 pounds on average, and while you can attempt to weigh Tiger, there are other ways to determine his or her fitness level:
- Gently pinch the sides of your cat’s rib cage to release trapped air. If you can easily feel the ribs, it is likely that they are not excessively overweight. They might be far heavier than they should be if you are forced to press to get at them. Take a look at the size of your cat’s waist. There should be a noticeable difference in their physique from the belly to their hindquarters. A pouch between your cat’s hind legs that swings back and forth is a symptom that your cat is overweight.
Slimming Down Kitty
Pull on the sides of your cat’s rib cage with gentle pressure. Generally speaking, if you can readily feel your ribs, you are not overweight. They might be far heavier than they should be if you must press to get at them. Examine the circumference of your cat. From the belly to the hindquarters, their physique should grow increasingly slim. It is possible that your cat is overweight if there is a hanging pouch between its hindlegs.
- Food should be measured out. The cat’s recommended calorie intake should be divided into four to six little meals. Maintain a full water dish for them. Cat food should be left out for a short period of time. Consult with your veterinarian about setting a weight loss target
- Treats should be avoided, or if they must be given, a few bits of their dry food can be substituted. It is not recommended to feed your cat human food because it is fatty and can cause diarrhea. Please don’t let your cat get access to the dog food.
Veterinarians have come to the conclusion that a new diet should be introduced gradually. Cats may stop eating if they are abruptly presented with a different type of food. Johnny Hoskins, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, of Branson, Missouri, explains that the basic line is that you must reduce the quantity of calories consumed in accordance to the amount of effort the cat is performing. “We try to spread it out over a period of a couple of months.” According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, a reduction of around 1 pound each month is considered healthy.
The Best Cat Diet
There have been numerous approaches of approaching a cat’s nutrition that have been discovered via research. Fortunately, there are several commercially available therapeutic canned and dried meals that are both delicious and nutritionally sound. According to Hoskins, a veterinarian at WebMD, it is OK to blend canned and dry meals in your cat’s diet. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is home to Joe Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, DACVN, a clinical nutritionist who works with animals. He suggests a low-calorie canned food diet since canned food has more fillers than dry food, according to him.
- The canned food has the effect of making you, the cat’s caregiver, believe that you are providing adequate food for your cat.
- “I think the fundamental message is that you have to replace fat with protein and carbs,” he says in an interview with WebMD.
- Hoskins says he favours low-carb cat foods because he feels carbs increase the chance of developing diabetes in the feline population.
- A variety of other studies have demonstrated that obese cats may lose weight without losing lean body mass when fed low-fat/high-fiber diets or high-fat/low-carb diets.
- Make sure that the top components in the cat food are meat, animal byproducts, or seafood, and that the cat food is labeled appropriately for your cat’s life stage by reading the label.
Taurine and B vitamins, among other nutrients, are beneficial. Keep in mind that cats are carnivores by nature, therefore vegetarian diets will not suffice.
In a nutshell, no. A high-quality cat food provides all of the vitamins and minerals required by your cat. Supplements should not be used unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian.
What if the diet doesn’t work?
If the diet isn’t working, it’s likely that your cat is still eating excessively. According to Hoskins, maintaining a healthy weight is rarely associated with medical concerns. “There is no sickness that contributes to obesity” in cats, according to the researchers. Furthermore, endocrine problems such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism do not result in obesity in cats, according to Wakshlag.
Getting your cat to move
One of the most difficult tasks a cat caregiver faces is getting Nibs to move for reasons other than feeding. This is especially true if the cat does not wander outdoors. The use of laser pointers, which create a pinpoint of light that cats are drawn to and which frequently causes them to leave their hiding places, is recommended by veterinarians for owners who do not wish to move much themselves. Other types of interactive toys, such as sticks with feathers at the end and balls, are also acceptable options.
According to Hoskins, cat owners should encourage physical exercise in their cats from an early age, even when the cat is still a kitten.
I Tried Putting My Cat on a Diet—Here’s How It Went
Photograph courtesy of Lindsy Van Gelder
My fat cat
Jean-Philippe, my cat, is not what you could call “big-boned,” to put it mildly. Both his head and tail are rather small, especially when compared to the rest of him. There’s also his enormous, jiggly stomach to consider! He weighed 24 pounds a year ago at this time. His weight has dropped to 21 pounds, but our struggle is far from complete. If you were to characterize him as the feline Orson Welles, or the kitten John Belushi, or the tabby Notorious B.I.G., it would depend on your age and cultural preferences.
I refer to him as Phat Phil most of the time.
That makes him endearing and likable, but it does not bode well for his health.
Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
Phil’s feral past
I’m not going to make excuses for him, but allow me to share some of his background with you. When he was around 6 months old, I decided to adopt him. A couple of weeks before arriving at my house, he had been found with two other kittens hiding in an open sewage grate in a Miami neighborhood. He had been wild before coming to my house. The rescue crew that apprehended him informed me that he had been maintained alive by chasing lizards and the charity of a man who worked in a nearby bagel store and provided him with handouts.
When it came to reptile burgers and kosher carbohydrates, there was only one way to go: up. Cat lovers (and even those who aren’t) will not want to miss these adorable cat adoption photographs that will warm their hearts. Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
Phil, like many previous ferals, had a tendency to behave as if he were on the verge of starving to death. He wolfed down his cat food and begged for more until he was satisfied. At the very least, as an indoor-outdoor cat, he was getting enough of activity. Outdoor living is dangerous for cats since they can be hit by automobiles, succumb to illnesses, or be preyed upon by predators. However, waistline enlargement is not a significant threat to their well-being. Then I relocated Phil and his (non-feral, non-fat) adoptive sister, Tufa, to a fourth-floor condo in a different city across the nation.
Feline flabulosity weighing in at twenty-four piggishly chubby pounds.
Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
Mom can’t say no
Because I am the one who opens the cans, I can only hold myself responsible. I’ll confess that I’m a softie in this situation. I felt sad for him since he had been denied access to his reptile kingdom. I also made the same error I’ve done in the past while attempting to drop a few extra pounds from my body. Oh, a couple of slices of turkey, what could possibly go wrong? I was plainly in denial at the time. When he outgrew his cat carrier and the new one that was the proper size for him was marketed to medium-sized dogs, I understood that things had gotten out of hand—OK, out of paw—and that I needed to take action.
Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
Health concerns mean it’s time for a diet
His veterinarian strongly recommended that he go on a diet. The same health issues that plague fat humans affect cats as well, and X-rays reveal that Phil is already suffering from arthritis in his front paws, according to the veterinarian who examined him. In his particular instance, the stakes are much higher: he had a tumor removed from one of his hind legs, and if the tumor returns, the veterinary professional’s advice is amputation. The experts say that tripod cats normally do pretty well under those conditions.but not if they’re lugging about the equivalent of another cat’s worth of weight.
Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
Shedding pounds the right way
Phat Phil needed to become Sylph-Like Phil, or at the very least a little less of a Chonkster Phil, but he shouldn’t have lost too much weight too soon because it is unhealthy for cats to drop weight too rapidly. Crash diets can result in a potentially deadly illness known as hepatic lipidosis, which is caused by fatty liver. Rather of attempting to reduce Phil’s weight by half or more, the veterinarian chose to set a more moderate goal of 18 pounds, which is still 25 percent of his overall weight, or the equivalent of a 200-pound human being being reduced to 150 pounds.
She directed me to a website that estimates the number of calories a pet needs to consume each day in order to slim down at a healthy rate. We were on our way to our destination. Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
You apparently need advanced algebra to count cat-food calories
Phil consumes a variety of raw, freeze-dried, and canned foods, and he started out on a 271-calorie-per-day diet to lose weight. Have you ever attempted to figure out how many calories are in a certain brand of cat food? Some people don’t say anything at all. Others inform you in teeny-tiny letters and numbers. Or they write it in such a way that you have to go back to high school algebra to figure out, for example, that if an ounce of freeze-dried chicken nuggets includes 125 calories, and a kitchen cup weighs roughly 1.6 ounces, and 50 nuggets fit in a cup, each nugget has 125 calories, etc.
According to veterinarians, this is the very greatest diet for cats in general.
Finding Phil’s happy place
As is to be expected, I have a tiny food scale and a calculator permanently installed in my cat-food pantry. I also noticed that there is a significant variance in the amount of fat that various meals contain. Phil’s preferred brands can include anything from 50 calories to more than 100 calories in a little pouch of their product. For this reason, one of the first things I had to do was come up with an acceptable compromise between flavor and filling him up while still staying inside his calorie budget.
Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
Old habits die hard
And, last, a rousing cheer! His weight has been decreased to 21 pounds—20 and change on a good day—and his daily calorie intake has been reduced to 250 calories. However, it is a never-ending battle. He’s a food thief who’s become tough, cagey, and cunning. Although I prepare his sister’s meals on a high counter that he cannot reach, he considers the dining-room table to be the 50-yard line (i.e., fair turf). Recently, I became sidetracked for a brief minute and discovered that he (who had already had breakfast) had dashed off with a piece of my smoked salmon.
Courtesy Lindsy Van Gelder is a model and actress.
And the battle continues
He wheedles and squirms. In addition, she nags. He starts campaigning for supper about 1 p.m., occasionally rearing up on his hind legs and poking me on the shoulder with his front paw while I sit at my computer, which I find amusing. (If he had a watch on his person, he’d be pointing at it. ) It takes more self-control on my side to resist his pleadings than I’ve had to muster since I was a teenager riding in the back seat of a Chevy in high school. But I’m determined to keep going. And any month now, my kid will be able to shed his canine weight and grow to the size of.a very huge cat.
On January 29, 2020, the original publication date was:
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How to Put Your Cat on a Diet
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation In addition to being a problem for humans, obesity is also a problem for cats. Unfortunately, obesity is closely associated with bad health in cats, with the risk of liver disease and diabetes mellitus in particular being increased in obese cats (sugar diabetes). A substantial majority of pet cats are now tiny couch potatoes, maybe as a result of the availability of high-calorie meals for a bored cat to indulge in, as well as the lack of necessity for a house cat to exercise or employ her hunting instincts.
- 1 Perform a bodily condition assessment. First and first, it is critical to assess whether or not your cat actually needs to reduce weight before putting him or her on a diet. A body condition score is calculated on a scale of one to five, with five indicating obesity and one indicating emaciation. A perfect score is three points. On the scale, give your cat a score based on the following criteria:
- 1 Create a bodily condition score for your own reference. First and first, it is critical to evaluate whether or not your cat is in need of weight loss before putting him on a restrictive diet. On a scale of one to five, with five indicating obesity and one indicating emaciation, the body condition score is determined. Scores of three or above are considered optimal. Calculate your cat’s weight on a scale using the following guidelines:
- 2 Take your pet to the veterinarian. If your cat’s bodily condition is rated as a four or five, you should consult your veterinarian for more advice and recommendations. Depending on your cat’s exact size, your veterinarian will have the tools necessary to determine the appropriate target weight for your cat. These measurements will include things like the length of your cat’s head, the width of its head, the length of its backbone, the radius of its wrist, and the measurement of its girth.
- Two, take your pet to the veterinarian. Consult your veterinarian for further advice if your cat’s bodily condition is a four or a five on the scale. Depending on your cat’s exact size, your veterinarian will have the tools necessary to determine the appropriate target weight for your cat. These measurements will include things like the length of your cat’s head, the width of its head, the length of its backbone, the radius of its wrist, and the measurement of its girth
- 3 Discuss a number of different choices. There are a variety of ways available to assist your cat in losing weight. When your veterinarian determines a goal weight for your cat, talk with him or her about the many alternatives accessible to you. In most cases, your veterinarian may prescribe a mix of treatments, which may include decreasing your cat’s calorie intake, placing your cat on a metabolic diet, and/or making modifications to your cat’s lifestyle.
- Whatever weight-reduction plan you and your veterinarian decide is best for your cat, be prepared to make a long-term commitment since progressive weight loss is more beneficial to your cat than a drastic shift in diet. In fact, starving your cat puts her at risk for developing hepatic lipidosis (also known as fatty liver disease), which is a condition in which an excessive amount of fat storage overwhelms and impairs the functioning of your cat’s liver.
- 1Understand the relationship between calorie intake and weight. Weight reduction via a calorie-controlled diet is as simple as following a basic equation: the difference between the calories in and the calories out equals weight loss or growth, respectively. Consequently, your cat will gain weight if she consumes more calories in a day than she expends in that same day. As a result, in order to get the cat to lose weight, she must consume slightly less than her daily requirements. 2 Make a calculation of your cat’s optimal daily calorie intake. The calories consumed by your cat while on the decreased diet will need to be counted in this choice. The majority of veterinarians recommend that you feed your cat 75 to 80 percent of her resting energy requirements in order to maintain her optimal weight. This quantity should allow your cat to lose weight at a healthy rate of one to two percent of her body weight every week, which is one to two percent of her total weight. You should consult your veterinarian for the specific calorie intake, however the following are some guidelines:
- It takes 180 calories per day to maintain an optimum weight of eight pounds, 210 calories per day for an ideal weight of ten pounds, and 230 calories per day to maintain an ideal weight of twelve pounds.
- Change your cat’s food to a prescription weight reduction formula if you haven’t already. It is possible that you will have difficulties attaining this caloric intake with a typical, calorie-dense cat diet simply because there will be far less food available. Your cat, in particular, will not be pleased with you. Typically, a formula designed to assist with weight loss in cats would have fewer calories and more fiber than a standard formula, allowing your cat to consume almost the same quantity of food per day while yet attaining the targeted reduction in calorie intake.
- The reduction in a typical diet will leave your cat feeling hungry and underfed, which will result in her pestering you for more food as well as her body’s metabolism slowing as a result of the sense of underfeeding, making it more difficult for her to lose weight. Your veterinarian will assess which weight reduction solution is most effective for your cat’s specific needs. Hills R/D and Purina OM are two brands to consider. These formulations also frequently contain L-carnitine, which is a supplement that can help your cat’s body to burn fat instead of lean muscle, as well as other nutrients. Use a kitchen scale instead of a dry measuring cup while you are measuring to ensure that your measurements are accurate.
- 4Weigh your cat once a week. On a weekly basis, weigh your cat and make a note of the weight. You should expect your cat to have weight loss plateaus during the procedure, during which she may stop losing weight before reaching the desired weight. Consult your veterinarian about lowering the calorie intake by another five to ten percent in order to get better outcomes overall. 5 Consider bringing the cat to a pet weight-loss facility to lose weight. Those who participate in pet weight watchers are far more likely to attain their goal weight than those who do not participate. This is due to the fact that the frequent weigh-ins and moral support provided by the staff make you less inclined to give in to your cat’s constant begging for food. Additionally, the staff can frequently identify areas where you can make a difference or where you may be stumbling
- These cat weight-watching clinics may be organized via your veterinarian’s office, or your veterinarian may be able to provide you with further information on where to find one in your region.
- 6Separately feed each of your pets. For example, if you have two cats but only one of them is overweight, you should feed them in separate rooms to avoid the problem compounding. Thus, each cat will only consume the portion of her food that is appropriate for her nutritional requirements.
- 1 Gain an understanding of what metabolic diets are and how they work. In order for these diets to function, your cat’s metabolism must be stimulated to work harder and burn more fat, while yet maintaining lean muscle mass. It has been shown that lean cats have genes that code for a faster metabolic rate, and it has also been determined that some food components are more likely than others to turn these genes on more than others.
- Researchers discovered that calorie-restricted diets shut off these genes, making it more difficult for certain cats to lose weight.
- 2 Speak with your veterinarian about your options. if your cat is unable to lose weight on a reduced-calorie diet—or if she has reached a weight loss plateau prior to reaching her target weight—then consult with your veterinarian about a metabolic diet for your cat.
- Hills Nutrition is the leading manufacturer of metabolic formula diets. In accordance with your cat’s desired weight, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- 3 If you have a diabetic cat, you might consider the ‘catkins’ diet. Your cat may also benefit from a “catkins” diet, which is a low-carb, high-protein diet that is particularly beneficial for overweight cats that have acquired feline diabetes. The “catkins” diet, according to one research, helped 68 percent of diabetic cats wean themselves off insulin, compared to 40 percent of diabetic cats on a normal, high-fiber weight reduction diet.
- The presence of feline diabetes in your overweight cat will be tested by your veterinarian, and you will be informed of the results. When feeding a high-protein, low-carb weight loss formula food to your cat, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your cat’s desired weight.
- 1 Make sure your cat gets enough exercise. Increased physical activity burns more calories. A cat who is physically active will lose weight far more successfully than a cat who does not participate in any physical activity. Exercise for your cat will not only help her burn calories, but it will also help her lose weight by decreasing her hunger and increasing her metabolic rate—which can help her counteract the sluggish metabolism associated with low-calorie diets.
- Using a laser pointer, display a pattern on the ground and have your cat chase after it to create a game of chase
- If you want to play with your cat and get her to burn calories, you may use toys that are linked to a string. If you’re having difficulties persuading a sluggish cat to begin moving, try a catnip toy.
- 2Make sure there is enough of water available. Water is essential for keeping your cat active and for assisting in the proper functioning of his or her metabolism. While on a limited diet, drinking fluids can also help your cat feel fuller. This is similar to how it works with humans. Make certain that her water dish is regularly clean and filled. 3 Make your kitty feel welcome. Cats, like us, can become bored and eat to pass the time. Many cat owners make the mistake of paying attention only in the form of food and treats to their cats, rather than any other way. In order to avoid boredom, spend more time playing with and combing your cat. Increase the frequency of smaller meals by a factor of two. It is not a good idea to put out all of your cat’s food for the day at once, whether it is a diet formula or another type of food. This allows your cat to eat at his leisure throughout the day. The consumption of restricted quantities at regular intervals is preferable for cats, therefore you should split your cat’s meals into two or three servings each day. 5 Reduce the number of goodies. You should drastically reduce the number of goodies you give your cat, as they are essentially empty calories that should be avoided. Instead, utilize positive reinforcement such as play, grooming, and other forms of attention. 6 Make use of your cat’s natural hunting instincts. Getting your cat to emulate hunting behavior is another behavioral method you may use to train him. Untrained wild cats, who subsist solely on mice, will kill three to four times a day, and they are accustomed to eating multiple tiny snacks throughout the day. Fill many tiny food bowls and place them strategically throughout the house to simulate hunting behavior. In order to find her food bowls, your cat will have to go ‘hunting’ and use some energy in order to do so.
- This simulated hunting activity helps to interest your cat both physically and cognitively. Another approach is to use a play ball packed with food to capture your cat’s attention. To get the kibble out of these balls, the cat must play with it and hit it about in order for it to work properly.
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- It takes effort and communication from all members of the household to successfully diet a cat. If you meticulously measure out the day’s ration only for someone else to offer her a second breakfast when you are out of the home, the diet will not be successful. In order for the diet to be successful, you must ensure that everyone in the home is on board. Dieting has a number of health benefits, including a reduction in the incidence of diabetes and pancreatitis. The stress placed on your cat’s joints will be lessened, minimizing the likelihood of her developing early arthritis. Dieting for a cat may be irritating since you reduce the amount of food you feed the cat, yet the cat does not appear to lose weight. Due to the fact that the cat is likely to have been gaining weight on a continual basis, and you have succeeded in reducing the calories just enough to prevent future increase but not restricting them enough to induce weight loss
- Make certain that you provide your dieting cat a well-balanced diet. Provide him or her with healthful, low-calorie meals.
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In order to put your cat on a diet, you may either limit the amount of food you give him at each meal or switch to a cat food that is particularly intended to help him lose weight. Use a kitchen scale to weigh out each amount of the cat’s food to make sure you’re not overfeeding him or her. Also, if you have more than one cat, feed them individually to ensure that each cat receives only the portion of food that is meant for him. Before beginning any diet, speak with your veterinarian to determine the approximate number of calories your cat need each day.
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In Australia, roughly 30-40 percent of cats and dogs are overweight or obese*, according to the Australian Veterinary Association. As responsible pet owners, it is our responsibility to keep an eye on our pets’ waistlines and prevent them from becoming overweight. Consequently, if your purring companion is beginning to appear a bit pudgy around the midsection, it may be time to put your cat on a diet. Excess fat in our companion animals can be harmful to their health in the same way that it is in us.
Even though it’s hard not to listen to your cat’s imploring purrs, it’s important to recognize when it’s time to intervene.
According to Vet Voice, the following are risk factors for obesity in pets:
- Being feminine
- Becoming neutered
- Being a woman Inadequate physical activity
- Having owners that are overweight
- Unhealthy eating habits
As much as you may like your cat’s company when he or she is a little overweight, it’s vital to remember that obesity can have a detrimental impact on an animal’s overall health and well-being. The following are health risks:
- Heart disease
- Early start of arthritis
- Respiratory difficulties
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Skin problems
- And other conditions.
Knowing when to put your cat on a diet
You say ‘cuddly,’ I say ‘fat,’ but it’s crucial for cat owners to be able to recognize when their cat needs to lose some weight in order to keep him healthy. This, on the other hand, can be difficult. In general, when a cat’s fat content exceeds 20% of its total body weight, the cat is considered overweight by veterinarians. Nonetheless, as a cat owner, how can you determine how much weight your cat is carrying? You can’t, but fortunately, there are several telltale symptoms that will assist you in determining when it is necessary to put your cat on a diet.
For the second time, your cat should not have a flap of fat hanging down from his or her back when walking.
Other indicators of obesity in cats, according to the RSPCA, include an inability to groom, visible fat deposits at the base of the cat’s tail, loss of movement, and difficult breathing, among others.
After all, the scales aren’t deceiving you!
According to Animal Planet, an additional two to three pounds (0.9 to 1.36 kilograms) in weight for a cat is similar to an additional 40 pounds (18 kilograms) in weight for a person! Consider the potential consequences for your cat’s heart and overall health.
How to put your cat on a diet
If you’ve evaluated all of the telltale indications and you feel your cat is on the naughty side, it’s critical that you take immediate action to prevent more damage. Putting your cat on a diet requires dedication, but keep in mind that adhering to a nutritious regimen is critical to your cat’s overall health and quality of life. To begin, consult with your veterinarian about your options. A veterinarian can do a full health check-up on your cat, advise you on the right weight range for your cat, and assist you in developing an appropriate and personalised weight-loss strategy for your cat.
If your cat is suffering from a medical condition that is causing it to gain or lose weight, it has to be treated.
Police their food
The most prevalent reason for a cat to get overweight is, without a question, overeating. As soon as you’ve spoken with your veterinarian about how much food your cat should be consuming, you must assume responsibility. When you put your cat on a diet, you are responsible for measuring out the appropriate quantities of food and following the plan’s guidelines. It may be beneficial to invest in an automated feeder if you find it tough to measure out the necessary amount of food at each feeding time.
- It’s fine to give Kitty the occasional treat (you still want her to feel loved), but make sure it’s a nutritious one that is devoid of excessive fillers and chemicals.
- Cats, like humans, are susceptible to mistaking thirst for hunger.
- Feed your cat at the same time every day, and only keep their food out for a specified length of time after they have eaten it.
- This might be especially useful if your cat is refusing to eat anything on his or her new food regimen.
Set up an exercise plan
Older cats are prone to becoming sedentary, so establish a daily exercise routine for your cat to keep him or her active. It’s possible that you’ll need to make or purchase some new toys. Another option is to set aside some time each day to spend quality time with your feline companion (see below). Try to incorporate games that involve jumping and chasing into your cat’s routine because this will appeal to his natural hunting instincts. If your cat is refusing to engage in play, consider taking him or her for a stroll on a leash.
Play for five minutes four times a day instead of ten minutes twice a day, and you’ll get the same results.
This, on the other hand, may lead to them increasing their calorie intake by hunting prey and stealing scraps from their neighbors’ tables.
Don’t forget that having a cat with a bad heart, diabetes, or disease can be extremely expensive in terms of veterinary bills.
More information may be found by visiting thePet Secure insurance plans website.
*Resources for information The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats, by Alexander J. German, is available online. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 136, Issue 7, 1 July 2006, Pages 1940S–1946S, is a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Society for Nutrition.