What Are The Dangers Of Owning An Overweight Cat?
There are over 85.8 million cats in American households, making them the most popular pet in the country. Unfortunately, cat obesity is a common health concern among pets. Nearly 60 percent of cats are overweight and at risk of developing serious health conditions. That’s why it’s important to recognize when your cat is overweight so you can prevent this from happening.
The sooner you’re able to get your cat to lose weight, the less likely they are to be diagnosed with future health problems. Obesity is a preventable disease. The good news is that you can start implementing lifestyle changes for your cat to get them to lose weight now.
The Dangers Of Pet Obesity
An ideal weight for most domestic cats to weigh is 10 pounds, with an hourglass figure when you look down at them. You should also be able to feel their ribs, which you can’t usually do when they have a saggy belly. Depending on the breed, their ideal healthy weight might be different.
Cats are considered obese when they weight 10 to 20 percent above their ideal body weight. This can have major side effects when it comes to the cat’s wellbeing and can lower their lifespan. Similar to how humans can be impacted by obesity, cat’s joints can weaken due to osteoarthritis and can become less tolerant to heat.
It can also make them more vulnerable to developing diseases such as cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease and hypertension. Not only can these conditions make your cat’s life more difficult, but it can be costly for owners to have to pay for treatments and medication.
Here are some of the average annual costs associated with treating cat conditions.
- Diabetes: $860
- Heart Disease: $1,065
- Osteoarthritis: $286
- Hyperthyroidism: $1,401
- Cancer: $994
There’s alway the possibility of a cat developing these conditions regardless of their weight. But being overweight can increase the chances of that happening which is an unnecessary burden for them to live with. That’s why developing a weight reduction plan is an essential part of getting their health on the right track.
How To Treat Overweight Cats
Owners have control when it comes to controlling and helping your cat lose weight. All it takes is implementing some easy lifestyle changes for your cat. By sticking to a new routine, you can help your cat reach their ideal weight within six to eight months.
Here’s how you can help your cat lose weight.
Change Their Food
The best way to start your cat’s weight loss journey is by adjusting what they eat. Your current feeding habits are likely a big contributor to their weight problem. You can start by gradually starting them on a new food schedule.
Instead of leaving a bowl of dry kibble available for them to munch on anytime, stick to three or four small meals each day. Give them meat-based food from the can that are rich in protein instead of high carb foods that are likely to turn into fat. You should also lower the number of treats and try to only give it to them after doing some exercise.
Before drastically changing your cat’s diet, you should consult a veterinarian to find out what is safe and healthy for your cat’s specific breed and condition Crash diets are dangerous and can worsen your cat’s health.
Have More Playtime
Exercise is a fun and interactive way to help get your cat healthy. You can get them moving to help them burn calories and exercise their muscles. Find an activity they enjoy doing and do it at least once a day. If your cat goes outdoors, take them for a walk and let them exercise by exploring the outdoors.
You can also mix playing with food intake. Find toys or “food puzzles” that you can put some kibble or treats inside. They will have to feel like they’re hunting for their snack, which can also slow down their eating time.
Veterinary Weight Loss Plan
If your cat is severely overweight, you might have to seek a food plan from a veterinarian. The food supplied by vets can provide you with the best food for your cat’s condition. High fiber and low carb foods can promote a faster metabolism and make them feel full more quickly.
Consult A Veterinarian To Help Your Cat’s Health
Losing weight can be tough for some cats to do depending on their health. That’s why it’s important to find the weight reduction plan that’s right for your pet. By adjusting your cat’s diet and implementing more playtime, you could start seeing results and lower their risk of developing severe conditions.
It’s important to remember that every cat is different and obesity can impact them differently. Though a certain weight could be healthy for one cat, that number could be very unhealthy for another. Talking to a veterinarian can help you determine if your cat is overweight and guide you through what to do about it.
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