Published on May 23rd, 2014 | by Debbie Martin0
Feline Health Tips – How to Tell If Your Cat is Overweight
When cats get a little bit older, they can start to gain some weight – especially if they are kept mostly indoors. Obesity is a very common problem in cats and studies show that approximately one in three cats in the UK are overweight.
A cat that is overweight is more prone to health issues, including urinary tract problems, constipation, osteoarthritis and diabetes. It is important to help your cat stay at a healthy weight, so that they will live a healthier and longer life.
How to Tell If Your Cat is Overweight
It can be tricky to tell if your cat is overweight, especially if they have a lot of fur. One way to check is to place your hands around the cat’s abdomen and flanks. You should be able to feel the cat’s ribs and there shouldn’t be a thick layer of fat around them. Also, you should be able to determine their waistline behind the ribs. There should not be swaying folds of flesh around your cat’s sides when they walk.
If you can feel the ribs under a layer of fat, your cat is likely to be moderately overweigh. If your cat has a large and heavy covering of fat that sways when they walk – this means that your cat is becoming dangerously obese.
What to Do if Your Cat is Overweight
If you have determined that your cat is overweight, it is important to consult your vet before getting started on a weight loss program. They will help to weigh your cat, check them for diseases and give you advice about safely helping your cat lose weight.
Cutting Out Treats
In order to help your furry feline get back to a healthy weight, you should reduce the number of treats you give them – or perhaps cut them out completely. Make sure that everyone in the family knows this rule, so that family members don’t sneak your cat treats that they are not supposed to have.
Smaller Meals More Often
You should try dividing up your cat’s food into smaller meals, which is healthier for them than eating one large meal per day. Ask your vet to advise you on a good brand of low-calorie cat food which will also help your cat to lose weight. A “light” cat food diet is less concentrated and has fewer calories.
Also, it is important not to starve your cat or deny them food – because this will cause serious medical problems. The goal is to cut down to a healthy diet, not restrict your cat too much, because losing weight too quickly can be dangerous for your pet. If you restrict food too much, your cat will not get the vitamins and minerals that they need and they can develop problems such as hepatic lipidosis.
Check on Your Pet’s Status Often
After a couple of weeks of this new diet, you should check in with your vet again to make sure that everything is working fine and your cat is still healthy. It is important to monitor the health of your cat over the weight loss process, to avoid any issues.