Calling all kitty CHUBSTERS! – this ones for you!
We love them , we hug them and we feed them, but what happens when you feed them a little too much! It seems silly but overweight cats can have a host of health problems which can last a lifetime including (but not limited to):
and if you still don’t see the problem then think of the associated vet costs!
I mentioned in my Indoor Cat Care post that indoor cats were prone to weight gain due to the limitations on the amount of exercise they get, however all cats can have weight problems for a variety of different reasons. Here are a few ways to get the weight back under control and having a healthy and happy cat.
*There are many reasons that cats gain weight (and lose it) and you should check with your vet if you have any concerns or if the weight gain is very rapid. It could be a sign of pregnancy in un-neutered females or other more serious conditions*
Regulate Feeding Times – Breakfast and dinner (or other times that suit you) make sure you only feed your cat at certain times of the day. If they prefer to graze thats fine but the food only goes down at certain times of the day. This makes sure that you don’t get “pestered” and give in to impromptu “snack times”. Also ensure that all members of the household know these times and don’t accidentally double feed (we realized several months ago we were accidentally feeding our cats 4 times a day before and after different work times and couldn’t workout how they were getting so porky!)
Check the food – Check the type of food your cat is eating. Are they stealing off plates too? do they get “bonuses” and treats? you should cut these down and ensure the biscuits or wet food that they are being given is part of a well rounded diet. Check wet food specifically as some can be very fatty and rich which can lead to weight gain, changing to dry food can help to maintain a balanced diet.
Sneaky Seconds (and thirds) – Make sure they aren’t sneaking food from elsewhere; neighbours, “fresh killings” etc. If you find they have been going to a neighbour then kindly ask them to deter your cat from eating there. Also make sure they aren’t sneaking food without you seeing (leftovers etc) make sure all excess food is promptly cleared away.
More Playtime – Play with them more, this provides more exercise for both indoor and outdoor cats, as well as providing extra stimulus to keep them entertained. The more exercise they get, the better!
Pick up the bowls – If your cat is a grazer but seems to be non stop eating you can pick the food bowls up after meal times so that there is only food down for a set period of time. This helps with regulating feeding and not encouraging overeating.
Fresh Water – Providing fresh water at all times can help keep your cat properly hydrated and regulate their appetite.
Do you have any fat kitties in your life? did this help? let me know how you got on