Is My Cat Overweight?- The Symptoms and Complications of Obesity in Felines

Ever wondered whether your cat is overweight or merely fat? Are you wondering what to do with your obese feline friend? It is unfortunate that the most common nutritional disorder among cats is obesity. About 40% of felines in the country are obese. This is a cause for concern among cat owners since obesity can lead to more serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and hepatic lipidosis.

Understanding Cat Obesity And Its Causes

Obesity is a health condition wherein the amount of excess fat in the body of the cat is great enough to cause harm to her health and well-being. This condition is very devastating and is linked to various health consequences for felines.

There are various factors that play a role in the development of this condition among cats; however, the main cause of obesity is the consumption of more calories than what the cat’s body needs. This happens when owners feed their feline friend excessively. If the calories consumed by the cat surpass the calories burned, the cat will eventually put on weight. As an owner, you must have realized that you cannot force your cat to exercise; thus, overweight and obesity can be hard to fight.

Another cause for this condition is giving the cat a dry food diet. Cats need a high protein diet, but most dry foods are high in carbohydrates instead. The cats synthesize protein and fat and use them as energy. If they ingest too much carbohydrate, the cat will convert it into fat.

Lastly, aging can also affect your cat’s weight. You have to understand that older cats will have a slower metabolic rate, and they are less active due to painful joints. Slow metabolism and reduced physical activities can all lead to obesity.

Is My Cat Obese?

There are some cat owners who cannot identify whether their cat is overweight, obese, or simply fat. Here are some signs you need to watch out for to determine whether your cat is obese or not:

  • For the cat to be called “obese”, she must carry excess body fat that will compromise her health and well-being.
  • Your cat is noticeably sedentary
  • Have difficulty walking, running, jumping, climbing, and grooming them
  • Most obese cats appear to have excessive appetite
  • When you touch your cat, you cannot feel the individual ribs
  • When you stand over your pet, her waist must be seen and she must have an hourglass figure

It is advisable to bring your feline friend to the veterinarian and ask if he/she believes that your cat is obese or overweight. During the veterinarian visit, your vet will perform a thorough physical examination of your cat. Your vet will also run blood tests, and determine if the obesity is due to certain medical problems. Cats come in various sizes and shapes; thus, it can be quite challenging to determine the normal weight for your cat.

Health Complications Due To Obesity In Cats

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Arthritis: Joint and movement problems
  • Skin infection and matted hair due to their inability to groom themselves
  • Shortness of breath which may lead to breathing and respiratory problems
  • Hepatic Lipidosis or fatty liver
  • Bladder infection
  • Kidney and heart disease

To avoid such fatal consequences, you must treat this condition in your cat by reducing her calorie intake and increase her physical activities. Although it can be very challenging to compel your feline friend to exercise, you must still encourage it by offering toys since it can stimulate their hunting instincts. You can use laser pointers, yarn, or feathers.

Another tip is to offer her food in remote places in the house. It can reduce her food intake because it takes more effort to get the food she want. It also stimulates physical activity during the trip to and from the bowl of food. Additionally, you can also seek the professional advice of a veterinarian with regards to special food diets that are designed to help your cat lose her excess weight.

Featured images:

Kris Lim, is an animal advocate who writes about the dangers and health complications that might arise due to obesity in cats. In addition, she offers information on how to determine if the cat is overweight. She also writes for a Ft Lauderdale veterinary clinic that offers reliable and high-quality veterinary services.

Vaccinating Your Dog

Dog vaccinations
It is important to keep your dog or puppy’s vaccinations up to date at all times. This will protect your pet against serious illness and fatal diseases. A vaccination essentially imitates the virus or bacteria that it is protecting against; this then prepares your dog’s body to successfully fight off that same virus and bacteria should it strike.

When To Vaccinate

I would recommend that you contact your vet for advice on the types of vaccinations your dog needs and how often they need them. Although generally speaking puppies should be vaccinated at about eight weeks, or as soon as you get your new pet home. This is because for the first few weeks of their lives their mother’s milk will protect them from infection. Puppies are usually given their vaccinations along with a series of other injections to help their immune system.

Once your dog has been vaccinated they will require regular booster vaccinations. All good veterinary practices will provide you with a record of all the vaccinations and boosters that your dog has received. They will also inform you of when your pet is due back for their next booster, mine contacts me by text message but yours may call or mail you.

Diseases Vaccinated Against

The following are some of the main diseases which your dog can be vaccinated against:

Canine Parvovirus – This is a very contagious viral disease which is potentially fatal. It can be spread by ingesting infected faeces. Some dogs will show no signs or symptoms but symptoms may include fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis – This contagious viral disease is seen throughout the world. It can cause liver and kidney damage but rarely results in death. It is spread through ingesting infected saliva, urine or faeces. Symptoms can include fever, going off their dog food, thirst, depression, coughing and a tender abdomen.

Canine Distemper – This is a viral disease and is highly contagious as it is an airborne infection and affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. The first stage of this disease is a fever including sneezing and coughing. Other symptoms which can develop include vomiting, diarrhea, depression and loss of appetite.

Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis – This will be more commonly known to dog owners as Kennel cough. This is a highly contagious respiratory disease which causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. It is generally a mild disease and not fatal but can be dangerous to puppies and pregnant bitches. It can be caused by a variety of infections including bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus. It essentially, as the name suggests, is passed on from one dog to another in a kennel type situation. The most common symptom is a dry hacking cough but may be accompanied by watery nasal discharge and retching.

Vaccinations save on veterinary bills in the long run not to mention protect your dog’s health and well-being. Protect your pet, and your pocket, by getting them vaccinated regularly. Always consult a vet or pet care professional if your pet seems unwell and avoid diagnosing any illness yourself

My name is David and I am definitely a pet person. I have always had cats and dogs and would not be without them. I also get to work with different animals as part of the team at Equipet Stores.

I’m not Fat, I’m Big Boned: Most Overweight Pets of 2012 [Infographic]

It probably won’t come as any surprise that the rise of obesity in humans has also resulted in the rise of obesity in our furry friends. In fact it looks like our four-legged companions might be giving us a run for our money. For anyone who says “Mr. Buggles, my dog, will eat till he pops”, and you replace “pops” with “blow-up” and they probably aren’t that far from the truth.

According to “Go Big or Go Home”, the majority of our pets are now fat, and the troubling thing is that most owners do not believe their pets are overweight. Unless Fido needs a wood plank with wheels just to walk from the front door to the car, 22% of dog owners believe that their hefty husky is just fine.

Cat owners understand the nature of the beast a little better; only 15% of them eschew the fact that their cat is fat. If you can’t say no to another treat for that huggable feline, or it sounds more appealing sharing a midnight snack of potato chips with the mutt than going for a nice long walk in the neighborhood during the day, please take “Go Big or Go Home” to heart.

Fattest Pets of 2012
Infographic Via Carrington College’s Veterinary Assistant Program