Weight gain is a common health issue in cats, especially for indoor kitties, or older ones with a slower metabolism. Our Charlotte vets offer insight on signs that your cat may be overweight, and what steps you should take next.
How can I tell if my cat is overweight?
To find out if your cat is overweight, bring them in for an exam with your vet, who can also provide a significant diagnosis and guidance on how to manage your pet’s weight.
If you’re looking for signs that your cat may be overweight, feel his or her rib cage — is it about as thick as the fat on the back of your hand, or can you feel the ribs at all? If you can only feel them when you press firmly, then your feline companion may be overweight or obese.
We can also look to visual cues for some indication of your cat’s overall health in relation to weight. While your cat is standing, look down at him or her. You should see a slight indentation above the hips that resembles a waist (keep in mind this may be difficult if your cat has long hair). Does the waist bulge instead? Your cat may be overweight.
How can I help my cat lose weight?
If your vet discovers that your cat is overweight, they will prescribe a diet and exercise program to help get them on track to a healthy weight. Here are some things you can do to help your cat lose weight:
Feeding & Diet
A nutritious weight control formula cat food can help your pet gradually lose weight. If you’ve got a very obese cat, your vet may prescribe a special therapeutic weight loss food. To get your cat used to any new kind of food, always transition gradually.
Cats don't need a lot of exercise in order to stay healthy, although the ideal amount varies according to the cat's age and breed. In general, though, aim for two fifteen-minute sessions per day of interactive play, including activities like chasing and leaping after a toy.
You may also consider investing in an indoor cat tree to provide extra opportunities to jump and climb.
Bring your cat to the vet to be weighed on a regular basis. This will let the vet know if further dietary adjustments or testing are needed.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.