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How to help fat indoor cats lose weight
Fat cats may be cute. We all love Garfied the fat cat.
However, if a cat is too overweight, it may result in health problems such as diabetes. Oftentimes a cat may be so fat that it won't participate in the usual fun activities for cats.
There are many reasons an indoor cat may be overweight. Keeping a cat strictly indoors often does not help with this issue, as there is less room to run and play around and fewer things to stimulate and interest a cat as there are outdoors.
You also may be feeding your cat inappropriate foods that are not nutritious. There are also medical conditions that may contribute to obesity, but these are rare and are usually not the problem.
The first thing to do would be to go to your vet and have your cat checked out and make sure he or she doesn't have any serious blood problems or other issues related to or caused by obesity.
Here is a list of things you can consider to help your cat, based on what my mother says (she has been an assistant in a veterinarian's office for years):
- Please don't starve your cat. What you should do is stop free-feeding your cat, which means you shouldn't fill the dish every time your cat eats. Average cats should eat 20 to 30 calories per pound per day, but if your cat is overweight, feed him or her 20 to 30 calories times the number of pounds you want your cat to weigh. If your cat weighs 25 pounds but you want your cat to weigh 15 pounds, you can start feeding him or her 300 to 450 calories a day, preferably 300 or so. Try to plan out how you will divide the calories and how often to feed your cat.
- Make sure your cat is getting enough water. Never leave the water dish empty, and clean it and refill it regularly. Cats are finicky and don't like drinking out of dirty water dishes.
- Stop feeding your cat dry food. It seldom provides the balanced nutrition cats need, and is full of carbs and sugar. The grains serve as allergens and can upset a cat's stomach. Cats are carnivores and need meat proteins. Also, cats are biologically designed to get water from their food, and there is obviously little in dry food. And don't worry about vegetables; cats don't need them.
- Start feeding your cat diet food. Ask your vet which kind to get, as it depends on the breed and how much weight your cat should lose. Try to stick with natural brands, like Nature's Variety.
- You can try supplements, although weight loss should be able to occur without them. L-Carnitine is an example.
- Play with your cat more. Stimulate some activity and movement. They love laser pointers, but try a variety of toys; each cat has different preferences.
Don't be discouraged ifthe weight is not going down right away. Cats usually lose less than a pound a month or else health problems may occur.
- Safe Weight Control for Your Cat
Subtle changes in your cat's weight can be indicative of serious underlying conditions, and for that reason, ideally, your cat should be weighed monthly after reaching the age of ten years. If your cat is already overweight, a slow loss is indicated
- Cat Food FAQs: Weight Control
- Nature's Variety