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How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight Naturally

Updated on June 19, 2013
Don't let the cute face fool you. I am a fat cat!
Don't let the cute face fool you. I am a fat cat!

Hello my name is Jennifer and I have a fat cat. I didn't want to admit it and when family members would comment on the size of my sweet kitty, I would laugh, blow them off, and claim she just had alot of fur. I could no longer deny the obvious when I watched my cat C.C.'s fur almost touch the ground as she walked around. As she has grown in age she has become less and less active and spends the majority of her day laying in a patch of sun by the sliding glass door. It is time to start seeing my cat as she is and not how she used to be.

Like many pet owners, it is hard to admit your pet has a problem and needs to get help. With vetrinarians estimating that 40% of cats are obese it is an issue that can no longer be ignored. Obese cats face many health issues including arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems. The following tips are for ideas on how to improve your cat's health and should not replace a visit to your pet's vertrinarian.

Play More!

Cats of every age should be exercising and moving around on a daily basis. Find cat toys that allow your pet to chase, jump, and run around to get them moving. Cats love to climb in and out of boxes and other objects. Use recyclables to create an obstacle course for you beloved animal. If all else fails, get a collar and a leash and take them for a walk as you would a dog. This may take a little practice to get your otherwise stubborn cat to walk outdoors and become acclimated to a leash.

A no no!
A no no!

Eat Less

I take the easy way out when it comes to feeding C.C. She has a self feeder that I fill up every 5 days so she can feed herself when she is hungry and then I don't forget to feed her everyday. Vetrinarians say this is the worse thing you can do for your cat. They should be eating several smaller meals throughout the day. These meals should be portioned out so you can control how much your pet is eating. To figure out how many calories your cat should be eating visit Dr. Mercola's link to a calorie calculator. A vet can also help you figure out the approprite amount of food your cat should be consuming each day depending on their current weight and how much they need to lose.

Quality Food

Most cat owners feed their cats dry cat food which is high in grains and carbohydrates. This kind of diet is not beneficial to a cat's health and contributes to weight gain. Cats are carnivores by nature and need a diet high in protein to help maintain a healthy weight. There are many experts who say you can find a nutritionally complete dry cat food but most recommned feeding your pet wet food that contains animal based proteins. Be sure to read the labels carefully and know what you are feeding your cat instead of buying whatever is on sale. This also means no table scraps. I know it is hard to not feed the cat food as she is looking at you begging for a piece of bacon but adult food is not meant for cats. There are cat food recipes you can use to make healthy meals for your cat if you have the time and dedication to do it.

Water

Just as adults need to drink water everyday, so do cats. Their water bowls should always contain fresh water and should be re-filled consistently. Cats can never have too much water and they are aware of how much water they should be drinking. Make sure their water dish is cleaned out every few days so bacteria and/or mold cannot grow in the bowl casuing even more health problems. The water bowl should be placed in an easy to access location so your pet can reach it easily.

It is time to do something about the weight issues facing our pets today. We can no longer sit by complacently while our cats eat themselves to death. We all want what is best for our pets as they are very important part of our families and we the owners are the only ones who can do something about it. So get up and play with your cat or take them out for a walk around the block. Don't just sit with you head in the sand and not acknowledging what is going on. My cat will soon be a healthier version of herself as I implement the strategies listed above.

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    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Your cat doesn't look that fat in the photo. I've seen some huge cats! Our bunny has put on some weight, if I still had my treadmill I would try that. The video was hilarious! I'll just use some of your tips :)

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Her face is pretty thin but she wasn't walking around enough for me to get a full belly shot of her. Which I guess is part of the problem:)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Great strategies, Jennifer. I don't have a cat, but my schnauzer is overweight due to illness and I'm feeding smaller meals a day now. Thanks for this, which I vote up and share!

    • Ardot profile image

      Ardot 4 years ago from Canada

      Get your cat a kitten! My fatty was all old and lethargic until we adopted a rescue kitten, turned his life right around (once he stopped hissing so much!). Now he's more playful than ever and is trying to jump places he hasn't jumped on in years! (trying is a key word here, i feel so bad when he falls back to reality) Seriously, his morale skyrocketed since the kitten arrived and is getting more play exercise than ever!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I had a fat cat and the vet recommended what you posted here. He did lose weight over time as a result. Your cat doesn't look half as fat as mine was at the time -- is this an "after" photo? Very adorable!

    • heartexpressions profile image

      heartexpressions 4 years ago

      All I can say is this made me smile.

    • JohnMello profile image

      JohnMello 4 years ago from England

      Good points jenbeach1. It's hard to say no to pets sometimes, but I guess being a a good "pet parent" means making sure they're healthy and in the best shape they can be. Voted up!

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you Ardot, teaches, heart expressions, and John for the comments. My cat may not look big but she carries most of her weight in her stomach area which is common to females.

      Ardot, we got a kitten a few years ago and CC did not react well and spent the 2 years we had with the kitten hising upstairs and avoiding the other cat!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi jen, the other thing about dried food is that the cat should always have water with it, because there was a recent study over here that said dried food swells in the stomach, and dehydrates the animal, in fact it can cause all sorts of trouble, like bowel blockages etc, great hub and really useful, oh and I love your cat photo! lol!

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you for reading midget and Nell! I think we will be switching to wet food as soon as we hear back from the vet about CC's blood work.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      We have a fat cat too, which is why I read your hub! We also have a thin cat, and the challenge is finding a way to stop the fat one eating the thin one's food. She's his mother and she sometimes boots him out of the way. The vet has advised us to give them good quality dry food because it's apparently better for their teeth, but we also give them one sachet of wet food a day. (I'd never hear the end of it if I didn't.) The thin one only eats the jelly off it, and I often shut his mother out of the kitchen so he can get the chance!

      I'm not really sure if there's anything we can do for our fat cat as she even gets plenty of exercise, but I found this very interesting nonetheless.

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for the comments melovy. We switched our cat exclusively to wet food and it was a hard transition but she is eating it now and seems to be doing better.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We have one fat cat and one normal sized. Interesting topic that probably is of interest to many people. We feed them a small amount of wet food each morning and then they have dry food to munch on later in the day.

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for the comments Peggy. Many people are now having to take care of over sized pets. My cat was just recently diagnosed with diabetes!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Very true proper eating does help helpful to the many cat lovers

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for reading DDE!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I have a cat that is over 20 lbs. LOL. Some others that are about 18 lbs, but they have all lost some weight. I just switched to a better food, and the cats don't seem hungry. Maybe that's it! Maybe I can afford the more expensive food since they don't eat as much. Great hub. Thanks!

    • jenbeach21 profile image
      Author

      jenbeach21 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for reading Victoria!

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