Did you know that obesity is one of the most common health problems in our feline friends? By some estimates, more than half of our feline friends are, well, a bit pudgy. We know, fat cats are very cute, but those extra pounds could cause Fluffy some serious medical problems! Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses feline obesity.
Obese felines have elevated risks of developing many dangerous health problems, including heart disease, liver trouble, diabetes, certain types of cancer, skin problems, and bone/joint problems, such as arthritis. They are also more likely to have respiratory issues, or to have complications after surgery or anesthesia.
As one might expect, diet plays a huge role in your kitty’s weight. Offer your furball good, nourishing food, but don’t overindulge her. Cats that eat dry food may be more prone to gaining weight than those who get wet food, as kibble is often very high in carbs. Don’t let your feline friend trick you into overfeeding her: if Fluffy is starting to look a bit plump, but tends to scarf down her dinner and beg for more, that plaintive meow could be a lie! Keep an eye on portion sizes: even a few extra calories a day can cause cats to gain weight. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations, including portion sizes, feeding times, and suitable treats.
You’ve probably noticed that your feline friend is pretty fond of sleeping. Actually, napping is pretty much Fluffy’s favorite activity. This may keep your pet refreshed and well-rested, but it does make it easy for her to pack on pounds. You may have to trick your kitty into moving. Play with her every day, using fun, interactive toys. We also recommend giving your furball plenty of fun toys to play with. Offering your sleepy pet a cat tree or tower to climb will also encourage her to stay active.
Do you have a chubby kitty on your hands? Talk to your vet before changing your feline friend’s diet. Cats must lose weight slowly in order to slim down without compromising their health. Crash diets are very, very dangerous for feline metabolism, and could make your furball very sick!
Do you know or suspect that your cat needs to lose weight? We can help! Call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, today!