Obesity in cats is a growing condition that pet owners are noticing. This is a condition that should be taken seriously. With a greater variety of premium quality cat food to choose from, cats are leading fuller and longer lives. However, if your cat overeats, he can become obese. Obese cats are at greater risk of health problems such as diabetes, liver disease and a shortened life span. How can you control your cat’s weight?
Monitor Your Cat’s Food
One of the first things you can do to control your cat’s weight is to monitor your cat’s food intake. Cats must eat a high-protein cat food each day (dry, canned, or a combination of the two) depending on your cat’s personal preference.
It is convenient to leave food out at all times in a multi-cat household. Provided your cats are of normal weight, leaving food out is acceptable. But if you have an overweight or obese cat, leaving food out at all times is not a good idea.
Prevent Food Hogging
Cat owners should also observe how their cats interact when they eat. In multi-cat households, it is common for at least one cat to turn into a food hog, as he or she tries to prevent the other cats from eating. It is usually the dominant cat that hogs the food bowl.
If food hogging is taking place, stop leaving food out. Read feeding instructions to find out how much food you should be feeding your cats based on their age, size and weight and feed the cats small meals three or four times a day. Not only will this stop the food hogging, but this will also help obese cats to shed some excess weight. Cut food portions down, but never put your obese cat on a crash diet, as this can lead to serious health problems.
Incorporate Exercise into Kitty’s Routine
Cat owners will never be able to train their cats to use a treadmill, but they can do a lot to improve the physical fitness of their obese cat with what they already have on hand in the home.
Simple play techniques can work wonders for your cat. Allocate time each day to play with your cat, either with or without, toys. Toys on strings, feathers, beads and catnip are a great inducement for sedentary, obese cats to get up off their cat perch and chase their toys around. Cat laser toys are also very tempting for cats to chase.
Obesity in cats should not be ignored, as this condition can lead to serious health complaints later on in your cat’s life. Monitor your cat’s food intake, taking measures to prevent overeating and food hogging. Incorporating exercise into your cat’s daily routine can also help to shift a few excess ounces or pounds.