Over a third of cats in Europe are overweight. Extra weight can reduce your cat’s quality of life. Indoor cats may also suffer from stress or boredom, which can in turn cause them to overeat.
Obese cats are at risk of health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, chronic inflammation, heart disease, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, many forms of cancer especially intra-abdominal cancers.
Losing weight and getting in shape can add not only years to you or your pet’s life. It can also make those extra years more enjoyable. Helping your cat attain a healthy weight may be easier than you think. Most overweight cats are simply just eating too much! ‘Eat less, move more’ – this simple formula really does work!
1. Start with calories
Fewer calories in plus more calories out equals weight loss. Cats that are overweight or diagnosed with obesity must eat. Their physiology is different than humans or dogs and if they do not eat for as little as two consecutive days, they can develop a life-threatening form of liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis. It is for this reason that you should never put your cat on a diet without the assistance of your veterinary healthcare team.
The average domestic cat should weigh approximately eight to ten pounds. If your cat is 18 pounds, you can calculate its ideal weight to be 10 to 12 pounds.
Offer fresh water instead of food. Many cats love fresh water so when they are eyeing an empty food bowl, trying filling up the water bowl instead.
2. Try breaking up meals
For many cats, the best way to feed will be by offering a canned diet food fed several times per day. It is vital that you closely monitor and record calories when starting a weight reduction program. Feeding too much will result in no weight loss and feeding too little can result in serious consequences such as hepatic lipidosis.
3. Changing diet
When you are introducing a new diet to your cat, allow several days for the transition. In general, we recommend gradually adding the new diet over a one to two week period. Start by substituting one-quarter of the diet for two to three days, then increase to one-half total volume of food for another two to four days, then three-quarter new food for a final three to five days before completely switching to the new diet.
4. Creative Exercise
Cats evolved as predators and stalkers who expended very little energy seeking their prey and seldom strayed far from their territory. Most wild cats would pursue their prey at top speed for less than a minute. Once this activity was complete, they required hours to physiologically recover before their next hunt.
Our domestic cats are very similar to these wild felines. Our cats prefer the hundred-yard dash to the marathon. Even more complicating is the fact that cats evolved on a diet based on protein as opposed to humans and dogs that can eat a wide variety of vegetables, proteins, and fats. Since cats are obligate carnivores, the same dietary rules don’t apply. Many cats will do better on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for weight loss for this reason.
Some simple tips for getting your cat to move more:
1. Play “Find the Food” Move the food bowl upstairs or downstairs and rotate it so that the cat always has to walk to get to its food bowl.
2. Move the food bowl as far away from your cat’s favorite areas as possible.
3. Use feather toys, flashlights, boxes, paper bags or balls, anything that your cat finds interesting to chase. Try to engage your cat for ten minutes twice a day.
4. Pet your cat or play with it when it begs for food. Many cats will be happy to substitute food for affection, so flip the equation and you may find that playtime displaces chowtime.
5. Rechecks and Weigh-Ins
After you have put your cat on a weight loss program, it’s important that you determine if it’s working for your cat. Each cat is an individual and may require many changes in diet or routine before finding the ideal approach. In general, your cat should be weighed every month until the ideal weight is achieved. If there is no significant weight loss in one month, typically about one pound, then a new approach should be considered. Change daily calories, diet formulations, or physical activity routines.
Most cats will achieve their ideal weight within six to nine months. Typical minimum weight loss per month for a healthy adult act is about 0.5-lbs. Ideally, your cat will lose close to one pound per month. Some cats may need to lose weight slower while others may reach their weight loss goals more quickly.
Feed the cat diagnosed with obesity in one room while feeding the other cat elsewhere. After a prescribed time, generally 15 to 30 minutes, pick up any remaining food up, or the empty bowl. until the next feeding.
Feed the normal weight cat on an elevated surface where the cat with obesity can’t easily reach. Do not leave food out while you’re away.
Always remember the reason for your efforts is to help your cat live a longer, healthier life. For most cats, the secret to weight loss is a dedicated, committed and concerned family member.
We recommend Lotus leaf Weigth Control that helps weight control by limiting the absorption of carbohydrates and fat. The lotus leaf is full of antioxidants, helps increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Other important ingredients include hawthorn and cassia seed. The hawthorn is beneficial for the heart and helps stimulate blood circulation. While the cassia seed is rich in essential fatty acids, helps assist the digestive system and remove unwanted toxins.
Our holistic combination of fresh meat with carefully selected herbs, vegetables and fruits provides a highly nutritional and tasty food that follows your cat’s natural daily dietary needs. Read more or order here