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Cat Overweight

Cat overweight is a very common problem. About 40% of cats are considered to be obese. Just like people, our cats are simply taking in more calories then they expend. With domestication, cats no longer need to expend energy to hunt for their food or defend a territory. We decide what to provide our cats to meet their nutritional needs so it is imperative that we choose to feed our cats a quality cat food to prevent a cat overweight.

In some breed standards, a cat should appear sleek and long where as other breeds are more compact in appearance. A small breed such as Singapura may be overweight at 7 pounds where as a large breed cat such as Maine Coon can be at normal weight at 18 pounds. Your typical domestic short hair should weight about 8 to 12 pounds. Males are generally a few pounds heavier than female cats. A cat overweight will have ribs that are hard to feel, there is little or no waist when viewed from above and from the side and many have a bulge or skin folds under the abdomen.

Cat overweight are prone to heart disease, arthritis, and a series of other health problems, and are often in poor shape. Cat overweight find it difficult to move around and are often short of breath. Keeping a healthy weight helps to the extend cats' life span and improve their quality of life. Being a responsible cat owner, having your cat spayed or neutered will not affect its weight but will affect its activity level. Therefore a neutered or spayed cat should consume less calories a day to maintain a healthy weight.

Weight loss plans in cat overweight needs to be approached very carefully. Any cat overweight should have a physical exam performed, exact weight measured and blood and urine tests run. If all tests are normal, a gradual weight loss plan should be instituted under a veterinarian care. The weight loss plan should include providing a quality cat food in appropriate amounts and increase activity. Cats should be fed for a specific period of time (15 minutes) for 2-3 times a day. Any food remaining after the 15 minutes should be removed. Cat overweight should be fed an animal protein based food that is low in carbohydrates. Cat overweight should not be fed treats or only a limited amount of treats. These limited treats should be a natural protein (tuna or chicken) and not made from carbohydrates or containing flavor enhancers.

Increased activity will not only act to burn calories in a cat overweight, but allow interaction with your cat. This interaction will increase the bond between you and your cat. Since cats sleep for about 70% of the day, when they are awake, cats need stimulation to burn off extra calories. Add some interactive play toys to the cat’s environment – toys that roll and can be chased, toys that dangle or are spring loaded to initiate jumping, etc. Having another cat in the household can promote play between the cats while you are gone.

Every three to four weeks reweigh your cat on the same scale each time so that accurate weight measurements are done. Cat overweight should not lose weigh too quickly so that hepatic lipidosis is induced. Hepatic lipidosis is accumulation of fat in the liver following a loss of appetite or diet. If a cat overweight stops eating, a trip to the vet is needed. As responsible cat owners, it is up to us to provide a nutritional diet and adequate exercise to prevent an unhealthy, cat overweight.

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