Overweight Cat Help
Obesity is an increasing health concern in cats. Over 50% of adult cats in North America are overweight or obese. Overweight cats are at an increased risk for many health problems including diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease and respiratory problems. Nutrition plays an important role in maintaining your cat at a healthy weight.
How do I know if my cat is overweight?
We determine if a cat is overweight, by body condition scoring them. This is a scale from 1 to 5. 1 being emaciated/thin to 5 being obese. We want cats to be at a healthy 3. We should be able to feel our pet’s ribs, see that they have a visible waist and a tucked in the abdomen. There are also behavioural signs to watch for, such as your cat not being able to jump onto furniture, they sleep more often, or they lost their breath more quickly while walking or running.
How can I help my cat lose weight?
First, it is important to see how much you are actually feeding your cat. It is typical for many pet owners to overfeed their cats without realizing it. A good start is to go to your veterinarian for a nutritional consultation to find out how much your cat should be eating and perhaps to change them to a diet food.
What is offered during a nutritional consultation?
During a nutritional consultation, a registered veterinary technician (RVT) will meet with you and discuss what your cat typically eats throughout the day, as well as their activity level. She will then take a series of body measurements to determine what your cat’s ideal body weight it. She will typically recommend a diet food and go over instructions for gradually introducing the food and maintaining your pet on their new diet. It is important that you regularly weigh your cat, to see their progress or discuss any problems you may encounter, during your cat’s weight loss program.