Cat Obesity - How To Care For Fat Cats?
Any pet owner knows that it can be easy to give in to your feline friend’s persistent requests for food. We feed them out of sympathy or to appease them so we can get back to the task at hand. However, by doing so, we’re actually fueling a dangerous health condition. Feline obesity can cause serious health consequences for your pet.
An obese cat can suffer from heart disease, arthritis, liver disease, diabetes, and other ailments. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about adult cat weight and how to keep your precious pet safe and healthy.
Is your cat getting fat? Most likely, you play a major role in what’s going on. Felines have an uncanny ability to show up every night at three in the morning demanding more food. This is often done out of a need for attention or boredom. Therefore, feeding them won’t necessarily make the situation better.
To remain healthy, your furry friend needs a balanced diet of a variety of foods. This includes protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and a healthy amount of fat. A balanced diet goes hand in hand with exercise. If your feline is strictly indoors, make time for playtime and provide fun toys to keep it active.
When you overfeed your pet, you’re actually causing them to gain an unhealthy amount of fat. A feline is considered to be too heavy if it’s 10 to 19 percent heavier than its ideal size. Your veterinarian can help you discern what constitutes normal cat weight.
An overweight feline is more susceptible to the following diseases and common health issues in cats:
- Diabetes: If your pet is getting too many carbs in its diet, as many overweight cats do, it puts it at serious risk for diabetes. Feline diabetes can cause problems, so monitor this closely with your vet
- Arthritis: This can actually cause felines to become obese since the pain they experience leaves them unable to move around as much. Moreover, extra weight can add pressure and stress to the joints and be a contributing factor to the development of this condition
- Fatty liver disease: This is also known as hepatic lipidosis. It occurs when a fat feline loses weight too quickly. If you notice your pet’s weight fluctuating, be sure to monitor it closely with the vet for proper treatment
Other common feline diseases linked to obesity might include problems urinating, issues with walking, pancreatitis, GI diseases, and even cancer.
It could be that your pet’s heaviness is caused by genetics. Since each feline’s DNA is different, it might take some investigation on your end to know what’s causing it to put on the pounds. If your furry family member is genetically predisposed to gain fat, you may be able to try medication or other methods to keep it healthy.
How To Know If Your Cat Is Overweight
The easiest way to know if your pet is too heavy is to use a cat scale. Checking in and monitoring its poundage will ensure that any gains don’t escape your attention. You don’t need to obsess over the heaviness of your pet, rather just check-in every once in a while to ensure it's maintaining an ideal size. If not, obesity in cats will require interventions like more diet and exercise.
Obesity in cats symptoms might include:
- Rapid weight gain
- Lethargic and uninterested in moving
- Distended stomach
- Arthritis or other health issues
How To Treat Cat Obesity
When treating feline obesity, it’s imperative to work with your veterinarian. Your vet can provide you with a cat obesity chart to help you understand what’s normal and what’s not. Sudden weight loss in a pet comes with its own variety of problems, so you’ll want to avoid any extreme measures that might cause further harm.
The best ways to treat obesity include:
- Proper diet
- Emotional wellbeing
It’s possible that medical intervention will be required. However, it’s just as possible that by introducing new exciting toys or a puzzle feeder, it can learn to eat slower and get more exercise.
If you think your feline has gotten just a little too chunky, start keeping track of its weight. Check with your vet about proper food portions and be sure you make an effort to play with your pet on a daily basis.
To help you provide a high quality of life for your pet, consider a health insurance plan for cats. Health plans from Healthy Paw, for example, can provide you with the security and peace of mind that you have the ability to provide the care and treatment your beloved feline deserves.