Is your cat starting to look a bit round? Have you noticed that Fluffy is, well, not just fluffy? If so, you are certainly in good company. In fact, over half of our feline friends are overweight or obese! Read on as a Northwest Columbus, OH vet discusses obesity in kitties.
Health Risks of Obesity
While it’s easy to joke about pudgy pets, the health consequences of feline obesity are no laughing matter. Those extra pounds put your cat at increased risk of several serious medical problems, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, bone/joint problems, reproductive issues, and liver and kidney trouble. Kitties that are overweight or obese are also more likely to have complications after surgery, and are also at increased risk for certain kinds of cancer.
Keeping Kitty Fit
As you have probably noticed, our feline friends are rather drowsy. Fluffy can spend up to 20 hours a day snoozing. This can make it easy for cats to gain weight. After all, catching Z’s doesn’t burn anywhere near the amount of calories as catching mice does! You probably won’t have much luck getting your pet on a treadmill—at least while it’s moving—so you’ll need to basically bribe her into staying active. Offer your furry buddy lots of toys, and take time to play with her regularly. We also recommend getting some pet furniture that encourages your cat to jump and climb. Cat towers are great for this!
Your pet’s diet plays a huge role in her weight. Or course, some cats have their humans firmly wrapped around their paws when it comes to food. Avoid overindulging your kitty with fatty snacks. When feeding Fluffy, pay close attention to portion control. Even giving your pet just a few extra calories a day could cause her to gain a pound a year. That’s a lot for a cat! Choosing the right type of food is also important. Kitties that only eat dry food may be more likely to become obese than those who get canned food. This is because many types of kibble—particularly lower-quality brands—contain lots of carbs and fillers, which can be very fattening. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including serving sizes and suitable treats.
Do you know or suspect that your cat is overweight or obese? Contact us, your local Northwest Columbus, OH animal hospital, today!