Obesity in cats is becoming an epidemic across the world, with the latest statistic showing 59.5% of overweight kitties in the United States alone. Obesity is a leading cause of disease in cats, so why aren’t we doing something to fix this?
Everyone’s looking for a quick fix when it comes to weight control in humans. Weight loss pills are a thing even though common sense tells us to focus on diet and exercise. The formula to weight loss has never changed for humans and our cats are no different.
It kills me when I see people feeding a “special kibble” for obesity in cats. If you’re trying to lose weight, do you eat more potatoes, rice, corn, wheat and soy? I’d hope not. You likely won’t get to your ideal weight this way, yet even veterinarians are recommending these diets for fat cats.
If your doctor tells you that you need to lose weight, would he offer you a prescription diet full of carbohydrates? No. He would recommend that you eat a healthier diet and exercise more. The fact that veterinarians are prescribing high carbohydrate diets for overweight cats is mind boggling.
Okay so how can you help obesity in cats or avoid your kitty becoming obese?
Not to sound redundant, but here’s what we all need to do with our fat cats.
- Feed a better diet and control caloric intake. All kibble is high in carbohydrates and not appropriate to feed our obligate carnivores. Ditch that expensive “prescription diet” for weight control and start feeding a high protein, low/no carb diet that’s rich in moisture. Feed smaller meals throughout the day and count the calories you give. Find out how many calories your cat needs each day to remain at her current weight and then reduce that number to slowly help her shed the pounds.
- Exercise your cat daily. Cats need exercise for many reasons but weight control is one of the top reasons we want to engage in playtime with them. Take at least 20-30 minutes out of your day and get your kitty moving. Wand toys are great for this, but do whatever you’ve got to do to help your bigger kitty get his daily exercise.
It’s not rocket science, but many of us just don’t understand that diet and exercise can help our overweight cats in the same way it helps us!