A recent study was conducted with 19 million cats that revealed our cats are getting fatter and fatter. Obese cats, in fact, make up over 60% of domesticated felines in this country. What does that tell you?
What this tells me is that our cats are bored and they’re being fed all the wrong foods – and too much of it.
The overwhelming majority of indoor cats are free fed an all-day buffet of dry food. These foods are full of carbohydrates, starches and fillers that fatten up our kitties. To make a bad situation worse, this all-day buffet is an outlet for our cats being bored because they’re stuck in the home with little stimulation.
The problem with your cat getting obese is that it can and will lead to health problems. Diabetes, GI diseases, arthritis, liver disease and urinary issues are just some of the problems your kitty can encounter by being overweight. This is preventable. We just have to pay attention and give our kitties a little more effort.
If you have obese cats or you want to prevent your cat from becoming fat and risking health issues, here are two very simple ways to help them be happier and healthier.
- Diet. Understanding what ingredients you’re feeding is important and it will help greatly in slimming down your cat. All dry food, quality or not, is high in carbohydrates and this converts to weight gain in cats. Feeding a species appropriate diet will make a world of difference but you also want to count calories if your kitty is overweight. Click here for how to calculate calories in cat food. Simply switching your cat from a kibble diet to a moist diet alone will help her drop some weight. Even if you have finicky cats, you can still transition them to a moist diet.
- Exercise. We often think that cats are aloof and they don’t like to play much. There’s nothing further from the truth because all cats like to play! We just have to get creative at times to get them to exercise. The easiest way to get your cat moving is by taking him outside. Supervised outdoor time will guarantee exercise, both physically and mentally. Make or buy some vertical space for your cats to climb and spend at least 20-30 minutes per day engaging in playtime with them. We have an overweight kitty right now and I will chase him around the house when he’s awake so that he gets more exercise. Get creative, but get your kitty moving.
It’s not rocket science that diet and exercise is what every overweight mammal can benefit from, but sometimes we just need a reminder!