The ideal weight of a cat depends on each individual, but there are several steps you can take to make your pet maintain a slender silhouette and a healthy weight throughout its life.
When the cat maintains a healthy weight, his quality of life improves: he can play and move more, his physical and mental health improves, and his life expectancy increases. As an owner, it is important to know exactly how you can help your cat maintain a healthy weight and provide an excellent quality of life.
Help the cat to exercise
Making sure the cat plays regularly, especially if he lives indoors, is essential to help him maintain a healthy weight. Indoor cats need, on average, a third less calories than outdoor cats because of their lower energy expenditure, so playing with them is a good way to increase their movement and reduce the risk of gaining weight.
Two minutes of play twice a day, gradually increasing as they become more active, is an excellent starting point. Give them toys with which they can play alone, or food dispensing toys that encourage them to play with an object to get some croquettes as a reward.
Boredom is one of the main reasons why cats eat even without being hungry, so by offering your pet toys, you will help him focus on something healthier and more pleasant in the long term.
Correct feeding of cats
If you help your cat develop good eating habits, it will be easier for him to maintain a healthy weight and not ask for more food than he needs.
Weigh the food rations on a scale to give it the recommended amount. Although they may seem scarce, prepared foods are complete and balanced, and the portions are calculated to provide cats with everything they need. To facilitate digestion and avoid urinary problems, such as stones, cats need to drink a lot of water.
Cat prizes can significantly increase your daily calorie intake, so control what you give your pet and keep them in mind when planning rations.
The right food for the right time
To maintain a healthy weight, cats need a different diet based on their age and lifestyle. Therefore, it is necessary to control your growth and adjust your diet to your needs.
Kittens between four weeks and four months of age need a lot of energy to grow, but since their digestive system is delicate, they should eat very energetic and highly digestible foods. Weigh your kitten regularly and adjust the rations gradually to gain weight according to the veterinarian’s recommendations.
Sterilization, both male and female, has a great impact on the weight of cats. Your energy needs decrease by 30%, but your appetite may increase by up to 26% in the days after the intervention. Therefore, sterilized cats have an increased risk of obesity, especially shortly after the intervention. It is possible to prevent weight problems by giving them foods with lower caloric content and adjusting the nutritional composition to their new needs.
During pregnancy, the energy needs of cats increase to such an extent that, at the end of that period, they consume 70% more food. It is advisable to give them a food formulated for pregnant or lactating cats, which is high in fat and facilitates milk production. To provide your pregnant cat with the nutrients she needs, it is best to talk to the veterinarian for advice on products and feeding schedules.
Ask the veterinarian to explain what steps you can take to help your cat maintain a healthy weight.