Did you know that well over half of our feline buddies are obese? We know, cats look pretty cute when they are a bit chubby. However, those extra pounds can be very bad for Fluffy’s health! A local vet discusses kitty obesity in this article.
With some cats, it’s quite easy to tell if they are overweight. However, it can be trickier with longhaired cats, especially large breeds, like Maine Coons. Your vet will evaluate Fluffy’s body condition at her regular appointments. At home, you can do a quick check by trying to feel your pet’s ribs. If you can feel them easily, under a layer of fat, your kitty is likely at or near her ideal weight. If they’re sticking out, Fluffy could be underweight. If you can’t feel them at all, well, you probably have a little butterball on your hands.
What you feed your feline pal will have a huge effect on her waistline. Regardless of whether you offer wet food, dry food, or both, opt for a high-quality brand. Many cheaper cat foods have a lot of fillers, such as carbs, which can contribute to weight gain. Ask your vet for specific advice.
As far as kitty workouts go, playing is really the gold standard. Try to play with your furball every day. Even a few minutes of running, jumping, and pouncing can help keep Fluffy in shape. This is also a way for you to spend time with your cat, and get that little motor going.
Obesity can cause some pretty serious health issues in cats, just as it can with humans. Heart disease, diabetes, bone/joint issues, liver and kidney problems, and reproductive issues are just a few possible problems pudgy pets could face. Your feline friend will be more susceptible to certain cancers, and more likely to have complications after surgery. Sadly, chubby cats also have shorter lifespans than their slimmer counterparts.
If you know or suspect that your cat needs to trim down, ask your vet for specific advice. It’s important for your furry buddy to lose weight slowly. Portion control is very important here. Even giving your four-legged pal a few calories too many each day can cause weight gain!