Do you have a chubby cat on your hands? If so, you’re in good company: nearly 60% of our feline friends are obese or overweight! Below, a local Fayetteville, NC veterinarian discusses obesity in cats.
Dangers of Obesity
Chubby cats may look cute, but those extra pounds carry many of the same risks for Fluffy as they do for people. Kitties that are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing several serious medical problems, including heart trouble; respiratory issues; diabetes; cancer; bone and joint trouble; and liver problems.
Causes of Obesity
No surprises here: Fluffy’s fondness for napping and her love of snacks are both major factors behind feline obesity. Cats sometimes snack out of boredom, so make sure you’re providing your feline pal with suitable entertainment options, such as toys and a good window view. Occasionally, cats gain weight because of medical conditions. If you’re not sure why your furball’s waist is expanding, have your vet examine her.
Diet of course plays a huge role in Fluffy’s weight. Make sure your kitty is eating a good, nutritious diet, and get her the best pet food you can afford. It’s worth noting that cats that eat only dry food may be more prone to gaining weight than those who get wet food, as many kibble formulas contain high amounts of carbohydrates. Portion control is also very important, as eating just a few extra calories a day can quickly turn your furball into a butterball. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including serving sizes.
Given that sleeping is one of Fluffy’s favorite things to do, getting your cat up and moving can be a bit challenging. Tempt your furball into being more active with daily play sessions. Use interactive toys, like wand toys or laser pointers, to make playtime more fun and challenging for her. Cats don’t often go for extended play sessions, so aim for a few 5-10 minute sessions each day.
Helping Fluffy Lose Weight
If you know or suspect that your cat is, well, chubby, ask your vet to recommend a nutritional plan. Never put a cat on a crash diet: this is very dangerous for Fluffy’s metabolism, and could make your furball very sick!
Do you know or suspect that your kitty needs to lose weight? Contact us! As your Fayetteville, NC veterinary clinic, we are here to help!