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Is your cat overweight?

Is your cat overweight? Is your cat overweight?
Posted 6 August, 2019

Is your cat overweight?

Many owners find it hard to tell whether their cat is overweight, but unfortunately it is a common problem. Lots of cats live a fairly sedentary lifestyle, and neutered cats need significantly less food than before, so will quickly become overweight if you don't keep an eye on them, posing a real health risk.

 

Why is having an overweight cat a problem?

A lot of different diseases are seen more often in cats that are overweight. Sadly these cats also tend to be less comfortable and content. Some of the most common problems that can occur in overweight cats are:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Heart problems

In cats over 7 years of age, obesity has also been shown to shorten life expectancy compared to cats with a normal weight.

This is why it is so important to:

  • Keep your cat slender
  • Help her lose weight if she is already overweight

 

How do I know if my cat is overweight?

Examine your cat in the following areas:

  • Underneath the belly and between the hind legs - is there an 'apron' or roll of fat there?
  • Can you feel the ribs if you gently press down as you stroke your cat? If not - there may be too much fat

 

Why is my cat overweight?

Most cats are overweight because of over-feeding and it's all too easy to understand why. We quickly learn just how happy some special treats or new food makes them feel.

However, if your cat is going to stay in shape they are going to have to learn to live with less food. You will just have to compensate by giving them lots of extra attention!

 

Some tips

Your vet is the best person to help you set a healthy eating programme for an overweight cat but these tips should also give good results:

  • Cats should have multiple small meals every day. If you are away from home a lot, try a food ball or a mechanical food dispenser
  • If your cat begs for food give them extra cuddles and attention instead
  • Make sure you set time aside every day to play with your cat - treat them to some new toys or just use scrunched up paper
  • Buy a tall scratching post to encourage your cat to climb
  • Weigh out your cat's daily food ration to ensure they are consistently fed the correct amount each day
  • Watch out for cat treats - they contain lots of calories
  • Ask your vet to recommend a weight management food to support a safe rate of weight loss - it can be dangerous for cats to lose weight too fast

Your vet can help you confirm whether your cat is overweight and recommend a course of action to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

 

For more information about weight management for your cat come and visit our Hill's stand at the National Pet Show or find out more on our website: www.hillspet.co.uk

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