Oh No! I Have a Fat Cat! Older Cats Need Exercise Too!
So you have a tubby tabby on your hands. Uh-oh! Not only is your tabby tubby, he or she is also considered a "senior feline" as well. Don't worry! It is never too late to make changes when it comes to your senior cat's life-style. Now I'm not saying that your fat cat will be on board when it comes to exercising more and eating less. In fact, he will probably drag his paws every step of the way. However, by introducing your fat cat to exercise and a better diet you will extend his life…and that's a good thing! Meow!
Unfortunately, feline obesity is on the rise. One in four cats and dogs in the western world is overweight or obese! If that isn't a HUGE statement, I don't know what is! Did you know that the most common cause of disease in aging pets that WE CAN CONTROL is over-feeding? If you share your home with a fat cat, take a few minutes to answer the questions below. Answer each question HONESTLY!
- How much and how often do you feed your cat? Do you measure out the food BEFORE putting it into the bowl?
- If your cat's veterinarian suggested that you switch to a reduction diet food…have you?
- Do leave dry food out all day so that your cat can eat whenever he or she wishes?
- Do you buy cat treats when you go to the grocery store? How many treats do you give your cat each day? Are they "healthy" treats or ones that are high in fat?
- Do you feed your cat table scraps?
- Do you exercise your cat regularly?
Did you answer each question honestly? If so, your answers may give you some clues as to why your tabby is now tubby. It is very important that you consult with your veterinarian BEFORE drastically changing your cat's diet. It is important that he or she rule out any medical conditions that may be contributing your cat's weight problems.
Some things your veterinarian may suggest:
- Reduction in the number of calories that your feline consumes each day.
- No more FREE FEEDING (leaving food out all day).
- Feed your cat two or three times per day (the same amount of food, just smaller portions throughout the day instead of one large meal. This will boost your cat's metabolism and increase his energy).
- No more high-calorie, high-fat treats.
Get Your Tubby Tabby Moving!
Cats are designed to move…not sleep ALL day and night! They were meant to play, pounce, jump and stalk! If your senior feline sleeps all day long…now is the time to get him up and moving! If you don’t spend much time with your cat, don't expect him to get into the groove of things right away. In order to get your cat playing you will need a variety of toys and activities. After all, cats LIKE variety as they tend to get bored rather quickly. So what types of cat toys are best?
- The Kitten Mitten: This is a great toy as it allows you to play and bond with your cat! The Kitten Mitten is a glove that you, obviously, wear on your hand. It has pom-poms, bells and extra long fingers! My cat Norman is not a huge fan of the Kitten Mitten, however, my female cat, Claire, LOVES IT!
- Kong Cat Hugga Wubba Teaser: This easy to assemble cat teaser is infused with catnip (bonus!). Covered in soft fleece, this cat teaser is sure to get even the laziest of cats moving as it naturally brings out their stalking instinct! Can you say hours of fun!?
- Laser Pointer: I don't know what it is about cats and laser pointers...they just seem to love chasing that little red dot! Laser pointers are a great way to exercise your cat as they will chase the dot until they are exhausted! If they only knew there was nothing for them to catch….boy would they be disappointed!
- Bergan Turbo Track Cat Toy: Not only is this cat toy interactive and fun it encourages exercise! The Bergan Turbo Track twists and locks together in a number of different ways (which is wonderful as variety is the spice of a cat's life!). The object is simple, assemble the track and insert the ball! Your cat will spend hours pushing and chasing the ball…trying his best to set it free. Additional track pieces can be purchased so that you can adjust the track as needed. This toy received great reviews and is a favorite among cat owners and cats alike!
Though exercise is very important, you should check with your veterinarian before drastically changing your cat's exercise regimen. After all, you don't want to shock his system! Not only should you provide plenty of toys for your cat to play with you should also have something for him to scratch and climb on as well. Scratching is a natural and necessary part of your feline's life. By providing him with a scratching post or cat tree you will make your furry four-legged friend (as well as your furniture) very happy.
Though cat toys are very important you should also provide mental stimulation for your cat as well (especially if you have a senior feline). Mental stimulation greatly improves both longevity and quality of life! Just as humans need to stimulate their minds...it is important that cats do to!
So that's it for now my cat loving friends! Good luck and may your tubby tabby soon turn into a healthy Himalayan! Meow! If you have some free time, please read my other cat related Hub Pages! Thank you!