A chubby kitty may be cute, but extra pounds can threaten your beloved feline’s health. Obesity places cats at a higher risk of diabetes, liver disease, pancreatitis, and other serious problems. Fortunately, making a few small lifestyle changes can help your cat attain a healthier weight range. It’s always best to consult a veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet. Your veterinarian can recommend the right type of food and portion size to meet your cat’s dietary needs while simultaneously helping him or her lose weight.
Measure your cat’s meals.
Once your veterinarian recommends an appropriate low-calorie food and portion size, it’s important to avoid over-feeding your cat. If you’re feeding dry kibble, you can use a measuring cup to ensure you provide the correct portion size. If you’re feeding wet food, it may be easiest to purchase single-portion wet food containers.
Limit the use of treats.
It’s hard to say “no” to a cat who is begging for treats! Unfortunately, those treats really do add up and can contribute to your cat’s extra pounds. Choose a low-calorie, veterinarian-approved type of treat and only feed small amounts occasionally. When you do offer treats, consider placing them in an activity-based “feeding ball.” These balls have slots that allow treats to fall out as the cat bats the ball around. This can help encourage your kitty to move more.
Encourage physical activity every day.
Speaking of moving more, regular physical activity is an important part of your overweight cat’s wellness plan. Pamper your cat with some new toys, such as feather wands and plush squeaky mice. You’re likely to discover that your cat has a favorite type of toy, although variety is important to prevent boredom. In addition, some of the best toys are nearly free. Cats often love to play with crumpled balls of paper and similar objects. Just remember to keep an eye on your cat with any store bought or makeshift toy you provide.
Whether your cat has dietary concerns or is experiencing a medical emergency, the team at Horizon Animal Hospital is here to help seven days per week! Give us a call at (480) 800-4559 to request an appointment at our Scottsdale clinic. Be sure to ask us about our pet wellness plans!