Since cats are naturally small, even just a pound or two of excess weight can put them into obese territory. Unfortunately, obesity in cats is linked to several health conditions, including high blood pressure, increased joint pain and risk of arthritis, and even a shorter overall lifespan. You want the best for your cat, which means finding ways to help them slim down and maintain a healthy weight. Here are three tips to follow when your cat is overweight.
Visit Your Veterinarian
The first thing to do if your cat seems overweight is to make an appointment at your local animal hospital. The vet will be able to get an accurate weight for your cat as well as help you come up with a manageable weight loss plan. Your vet can also run tests, such as blood or urine tests, in order to rule out serious health conditions that can also lead to weight gain.
Practice Portion Control
Just like people, cats should stick to a maximum daily calorie count in order to stay at a healthy weight. Your cat's vet will be able to recommend a specific calorie count for now as well as a slightly higher one once your cat loses enough weight and simply needs to maintain it. Once you have a calorie amount in mind, use this to figure out how much to feed your cat per day, and then divide this into a couple of meals.
Many overweight cats get that way because they're allowed to graze freely all day. If that's the case in your house, you may find that set meal times will help your cat get to a healthy weight quickly.
Get Your Cat Some Exercise
It may not seem as easy to exercise your cat as it is to exercise a dog, but you may have more options than you realize. One great way to ensure lots of daily exercise is to make sure your cat has plenty of multi-level areas to jump and climb on. Climbing structures designed specifically for cats are ideal. Letting your cat chase a laser toy around the living room and getting them toys designed for cats to toss around are also effective ways to help your kitty get more exercise.
By following these tips and working closely with your vet, you will soon be able to help your cat get back to a healthy weight and stay there.