Did you know that nearly 60% of cats in the United States are overweight? What’s even more sad is that this number could easily be much lower. The problem is that cat parents think they’re doing their cats a favor or showing them love by feeding them a lot of food and treats. However, this actually has the opposite effect. Feeding your cat too much, causing her to become overweight, can lead her to live a much shorter life. If you really want to do your cat a favor and show her love, you’ll help keep her thin! Here are five ways you can start slimming down your overweight cat.
- Figure out how many calories per day your cat needs. This number is computed by figuring out how much your cat weighs now, as well as how much she should weigh. Check with your Redlands veterinarian to find out the proper weight for your cat.
- Feed two portion-controlled meals per day, one in the morning and one in the evening (at about the same time each day). Putting your cat on this consistent schedule allows her to anticipate when her food is coming and take full advantage of mealtime. On the contrary, by leaving your cat’s food out all the time, it’s too easy for her to eat too many calories due to the uncontrolled portion sizes.
- Feed her the right food. Cats require a balanced, moisture-dense, fresh meat diet. However, the specifics of this diet vary from cat to cat. Talk to your Inland Empire veterinarian about exactly which type of food will help your cat achieve her recommended weight.
- Mealtime should be alone time. If you have more than one cat, it’s important to feed them separately. When mealtime rolls around, separate your cats and feed each one the right amount. That way, you can control which cat gets which food and in which amounts.
- Help her exercise. Whether you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, she needs exercise. Taking your cat on a walk using a harness is a great idea in nice weather. You can also give her lots of things to climb on inside, such as a cat tree or tower. Plus, try having her chase a laser toy or ping-pong balls to keep her active. You can never underestimate the power of exercise when your cat needs to slim down!
As you try to slim down your overweight cat, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Redlands veterinarian with any questions. Keeping your cat slim and trim will be a gift to her because she’ll feel better and a gift to you because you’ll be able to enjoy her longer!