An increasing number of cats worldwide are considered obese and suffer from long-term health problems. Here’s how to help your cat lose weight and start living a healthier lifestyle.
Obesity is a critical problem among the cat population; For example, one in four cats in the UK is considered obese. It can seriously affect your life expectancy and your overall health, but with the right weight loss program, between 80% and 90% of cats achieve their target weight.
The right diet to help your cat lose weight
A weight loss diet for your cat focuses on three general principles: reduce the amount of calories they eat, control the feeling of hunger and adapt the amount of essential nutrients to avoid nutritional deficiencies This helps ensure that your cat receives a diet balanced, that feels full and significantly reduces energy intake.
Giving the cat less of its usual food is not an effective way to lose weight. In some cases, it can even be dangerous for the cat, as it can stop getting the right amount of essential nutrients.
In general, a specific diet for weight loss should include a higher protein intake than the usual cat food, to help maintain muscle mass, a low fat content and a high content of vitamins and minerals. This diet can also provide active nutrients that promote healthy mobility of the joints, as well as a good state of the skin and hair.
The most recent and advanced veterinary diets include combinations of specific fibers and precise formulas to help maintain the cat’s feeling of satiety and, therefore, reduce the likelihood of food ordering, and lose weight.
Another way to help the cat lose weight is to place plenty of fresh water in different places in the house. This will ensure that you drink enough to improve digestion.
How to favor the proper feeding behavior of your cat
To ensure that your cat loses weight, it is essential that you provide the amount of food recommended in the package, or those recommended by the veterinarian, and that you use a kitchen scale to weigh the exact amount. Although it depends on the specific formula, dry cat food may have a high energy content and this may make it easier for you to overfeed your pet. For this reason, using scales and following the directions is the best way to make a weight loss program succeed.
If your cat tends to eat uncontrollably and does not regulate the amount of food he takes, divide his daily ration into small, frequent meals to control energy intake. Similarly, avoid giving him leftovers from the table, since they can significantly increase your calorie intake. If you want to use prizes, these should be counted as part of the food your cat receives.
Your veterinarian can advise you on the best rate of weight loss for your cat, which should not be too fast. If this happens, your cat’s organism can interpret that it is malnourished and this can cause serious liver problems.
How to get your cat to exercise and lose weight
Depending on the weight of your cat, it may be difficult to play at first. However, if you introduce the games into your daily routine little by little, you will help them exercise and burn excess calories.
You can stimulate your cat’s activity if you condition your house so it can play. Offer your cat a tree to climb or an area with several levels where you can jump and sit. Also, toys with which you can have fun while you are not: food toys with which your cat can get food, fun and that encourage their natural hunting instincts. Two two-minute game sessions a day are a good start for an overweight cat. These sessions may increase gradually as your cat becomes more agile.
How to maintain a healthy weight
Once your cat has lost weight, it is essential to help him maintain a healthy lifestyle so that he does not return to his previous weight. This can be achieved if you weigh your cat at least every six months. If it exceeds its normal weight by more than 5%, you can adapt your cat’s feeding method and food to the new situation.
When weighing your cat during the weight loss process, it is important that you always use the same scale, to avoid discrepancies and errors that could cause your cat to overeat or insufficiently.
The right weight loss program will make your cat feel much healthier and happier. Talk to your veterinarian before starting to make your cat lose weight, as he will advise you on the weight your cat should reach and the best diet to achieve it.