If you are worried about the sudden weight gain of your loving feline pet, your worries may not be totally unfounded after all. Obese cats run a number of health risks and if you want to keep your cat safe and healthy, you need to follow some tips that will help it to easily lose the extra weight.A fluffy, plump cat may look cute but the health risks far outweigh the cuteness quotient. But as in humans, if a cat takes more calories than it can burn, it will very soon gain weight.What do vets have to say?
On an average, an indoor cat needs 20 calories per pound to stay healthy and maintain weight. An outdoor cat may need 35 calories to maintain weight. Although not all cats have the same rate of metabolism, a rough calculation would suggest that a 10 pound cat needs about 200 calories of energy every day. However, if you cat is overweight according to the vet, you may have to limit his food intake so that he ingests about 40 calories less.Veterinarians are worried about the fast growing trend of obesity in domesticated cats and it has almost become an epidemic. Research suggests that obese cats are more prone to heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and hepatic lipidosis among other diseases. Being overweight makes your cat inactive, lazy and may even reduce its natural lifespan.What should you do?Control the food intake:
Regulating the food intake should be done with a lot of caution. If a proper diet chart is not followed, the withdrawal of certain food from the diet is too sudden, your cat will suddenly lose weight and it may lead to other health problems.a) Provide a meat-based, easily digestible diet:
Cats are not omnivorous. They survive mainly on meat. Don’t give your cat a grain-based diet because its energy requirement won’t be easily fulfilled and it will eat more and gain weight easily. As they are obligate carnivores, cats can mainly derive their nutrients in forms found in meat. Meat should be the main ingredient in the cat food that you buy for your cat.b) Feed it dry animal food:
Dry animal food helps in weight reduction and also provides energy. If you see that your cat is not losing weight despite consuming dry food, you may need to shift to prescription-based dry food that is low in fat and high in fiber.c) Don’t make the diet fat-free:
Allow some proportion of fat in the diet of your cat.d) Include fiber in the diet:
Fibers are easy to digest and help in full utilization of the calories the cat ingests. You can find canned fibers.Make it exercise:
Involve your cat in physical activities throughout the day. Make it jump up and down stairs, take it for walks to nearby parks, let it run with feather toys or bird or mouse shaped toys. You can use catnip to make it run after you. Innovate and think of new games. Use the surroundings to make interesting games and make tunnels using rugs and coils through which it can slide through. Also don’t overfeed your cat or give it frequent treats. Use dry food as a treat.Conclusion
Don’t allow the problem of obesity to continue unchecked. Try out different diets to see which suits your cat best. Make it work out. If nothing works, consult your veterinarian and get a thorough probe done.