How do I put this nicely? Your cat is probably fat. I am sure you don’t think they are, but most house cats are fat. It is a symptom of them being house cats. They simply don’t get as much exercise as outdoor cats. Plus we often leave food out all day for them and then they just sit and snuggle with us when we get home. I have a cat sitting on my lap right now as I type this.
Is My Cat Overweight?
The first issue is that most people can’t tell if their cat is fat. You can always ask our Albuquerque vets at Vetco about your cats weight and suggestions to help them lose weight, Thankfully, there are a few ways you can judge for yourself.
- Feel along her ribcage. The padding shouldn’t feel any thicker than the padding over the back of your hand. If you have to press firmly to even feel her ribs, she is over weight. If you can’t feel them, don’t worry you cat does have ribs, but they are obese.
- Stand over your cat and look down at her when she is standing. If your cat is a healthy weight you should see a slight indention over their hips that resembles a waist. Sometimes with long hair cats it can be hard to see. If her sides bulge then she is overweight.
Risks for an Overweight Cat
Just like with people, being overweight has psychological effects on cats. Its not that they want to look better, but they want to have more energy and to move better. An overweight cat may not have as good hygiene because bathing becomes hard. They are at a higher risk of skin problems and urinary tract infections, They can also have joint issues or inflammation issues. They are at a higher risk of diabetes and arthritis. Being overweight can negatively impact their lifespan and may cause them to live a shorter life.
Help Your Cat Lose Weight
- Eating Schedule: It is a good idea to set an eating schedule. Do not leave food out all day. Cats are not natural grazers. Give them their food twice a day. This way you can also control how much they eat.
- Portion control: Speak to your Albuquerque vet at Vetco about how much food you should be giving your pet. Most of us feed our cats too much and we don’t even realize it.
- Type of Food: Take a look at the food your are giving your pet. Make sure you are giving them food that is appropriate for their age. Many cats need to be on senior food much earlier than we realize. Also get a grain free food. If your cat is overweight, look for ones that are diet or lower carb food.
- Food Puzzles: Food puzzles are a fun way to get your cat more active with their food. Food puzzles can also help stop the “scarf and barf” issue with pets eating too fast.
- Increase Activity: Go get some cat toys and encourage your cat to play. Take some time every day to play with your cat. Do your kids like to chase your cats? As long as they are not driving you too nuts or tormenting the cat too much, let your kids chase your cat around the house.
If your cat is not overweight they are going to be happier, have more energy, and live a longer life!