Help! I Have a Fat Cat! Feline Obesity is on the Rise!
The world, my friends, is full of fat cats. No, I am not talking about rich old men who sit around smoking cigars while playing poker…I'm talking about fat felines. Just as dog obesity is on the rise…feline obesity is too and it is no laughing matter! A fat cat has a greater risk of developing medical problems than a cat that is of healthy weight. Unfortunately, fat cats also tend to live shorter lives! If that doesn't grab your attention, I don't know what will!
If you have a fat cat then you need to lend your fluffy friend a paw (after all, YOU are the one in charge of the food). When dogs become over-weight, it is often an easier situation to deal with as you can exercise your dog by taking him or her out for longer walks or a rowdy game of fetch. Unfortunately, playing catch with a cat is well…for lack of better words…not very entertaining (to you OR your cat). If you do attempt to exercise your cat by playing fetch…most likely, you will end up playing all by yourself while your cat sits on the sideline licking his….um…never mind. Taking your cat for a walk is an option. However, not many cats are fond of the idea of actually walking on a leash…so good luck with that one. So what does that leave us with? Food. The easiest way to trim down your fat friend is by feeding him or her healthy food in the appropriate portions. It's all about portion control, people!
Don't know how to help your cat lose weight? Buy a reference book! Knowledge is power!
Play & Bond!
Another way you can help your over-weight cat is to play with him. Think about it…what do most cats do all day? SLEEP! Ok, sleep and dream about their next meal….but that's about it. Help your cat burn a few extra calories by scheduling kitty play time! Forget about the game of fetch that we discussed earlier (that just won't work) instead, break out the cat teasers and go crazy for fifteen to twenty minutes. Not only will your cat burn off a few extra calories you will experience precious bonding time with your pet as well (insert "awwwwwww" here).
Now back to the issue of food. I understand that cats do not come equipped with "snooze buttons." When they are ready for breakfast…they are READY for breakfast (or any meal for that matter). My cat Norman has a habit of jumping on my head every morning in order to let me know that it is breakfast time (don’t worry; we are working on this poor behavior choice of his). The point I am trying to make is that it is very important to have SCHEDULED feeding times so that you can track exactly how much your portly puss is inhaling (oops, I mean eating). There are many healthy "diet" cat foods available but if you are uncertain as to which is best for your kitty do not hesitate to give your veterinarian a call as he or she can give you some recommendations. Depending on the size of your cat, your vet may even suggest a food that will require a prescription. Whatever works!
Exercise is very important! Get your cat moving with a fun toy! My cat, Cooper, LOVES this toy!!!
Over all, the key to maintaining your cat's weight is portion control and a healthy diet. Though most people do not feed their cats table scraps, it is important that you stop (or at least "cut back") if you do. My kitty, Norman, LOVES table scraps. I will be the first to admit that I have not taught Norman proper table manners as he is in my lap the second I sit down to eat (another behavior issue we are currently working on). It is important to remember that your cat depends on YOU to when it comes to proper nutrition and a healthy life-style. So if you have a fat feline, talk to your veterinarian, figure out what food plan is best (remember portion control) and get out the cat teasers! Cats only have nine lives…make sure you don't waste a single one! Meow!