Obesity in cats, as well as dogs has become the top nutritional concern for cats across the United States. A 2016 survey taken by the Association For Pet Obesity Prevention also know as (APOP), found that nearly 59% of cats are suffering from obesity across the U.S.
Just like people, extra weight can cause a variety of health risks such as, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart and respiratory diseases. If you consider that 1 pound on a cat is equivalent to 15 pounds on a human you will realize how much it will affect your cat’s daily life and the affect it has on your cat’s body.
Q. Why Is My Cat Overweight?
A. Your cat is most likely overweight due to the simple fact that she is eating too much. The food you are feeding her can play a big role in this too, the healthiest food you can feed your cat is canned food not dry food.
Q. Will My Cat’s Lifespan Shorten Due To Obesity?
A. Generally yes, since cats are pure carnivores, the dry food that most cat owners feed their cats contains too many carbohydrates. After time all these carbohydrates can add up and can eventually lead to many health problems.
Q. How Should I Help My Cat Lose Weight?
A. First you have to make sure they are eating the right kind of food, this should consist of high percentages of meat protein considering cats are carnivores. Try to stay away from feeding your cat dry food due to a high percentage of carbs contained in most dry food. Make sure to meal feed your cat. You will also need to give your cat a lot of exercise, this may consist of a walk with a pet safe harness and leash. This may take a while but cats can be trained to walk on a leash.
Q. What Is The Ideal Weight For My Cat?
A. A common domestic cat’s weight could range anywhere from 8-12 pounds. However if you have a large purebred cat those numbers could be as high as 18 pounds or more. When checking to see if your cat is at a good weight you should always check their back bone and their ribs, if you can’t feel their ribs or backbone there is a good chance that your cat is overweight.
Q. How Do I Meal Feed My Cat?
A. Meal feeding is when you have a set time everyday when you lay out a bowl of food for a certain time period. When you first start off meal feeding your cat you will need to leave the food out for about an hour for the first week or so. You will need to do this if your cat is used to having access to food 24/7. After a week or so you will then be able to leave food out for about 30 minutes then take it away. If you have a busy schedule and cannot make it home to feed your cat around noon, in the morning and at night will do. During the switch to meal feeding, your cat’s weight should be checked every 1-2 weeks.
Q.How Quickly Should I Introduce My Cat To A New Canned Food Diet?
A. When starting a new diet for your cat you should typically give about 1-2 weeks for the transition. You can start by mixing about ¼ of the new food with the old food for a week then you can move to mixing ½ of the new food with the old food and so on. Eventually that will lead to a whole new meal for your cat.
Q. How Often Should I Check My Cat’s Weight?
A. After you have started your kitty on a weight loss program it is very important that you track your cat’s weight loss during this process. In General your cat should be weighed weekly until your cat’s weight loss goal is achieved. If your cat is not losing approximately 8 ounces each month your weight loss program may need to be modified.