Obesity is not just a health issue for people. Over the past several decades, rates of obesity in pets have been on the rise, so more people are seeing obesity in their cats. Like obesity in humans, obesity in cats can post many health risks like diabetes, joint problems, and liver disease. If you have noticed that your cat is carrying extra pounds, the following factors may be contributing to his or her weight.
Overfeeding is a common mistake of cat owners. In cats who are obese, there is often an overestimate of how much food is needed to meet appropriate caloric intake. Therefore, you may need to follow your veterinarian’s guidance on how much to feed your cat rather than relying on recommendations from the food manufacturer. It is also important to choose the right food that is not packed with fillers like corn and other grains that can promote weight gain.
What you put in your cat’s bowl may not be the only concern when it comes to calories consumed each day. If you give your cat treats or share people food with your cat, these habits may be throwing your feline’s nutrition off and causing weight gain. You may need to practice behavior modification to eliminate the expectation for treats and keep your cat’s diet lean. Outdoor cats may need to have time limited outside, since cats may have dietary additions when they seek prey outdoors.
Unlike dogs, cats do not typically enjoy daily walks or a game of fetch, so you might need to be a little more creative when it comes to exercise for your cat. There are plenty of interactive toys and games that can give your cat more physical activity, so you might ask the vet which toys are the most highly recommended.
At Horizon Animal Hospital in Scottsdale, you can find complete care for your four-legged friend–including preventive care and guidance for your cat’s diet and exercise. To schedule a consultation for your furry companion, call us at (480) 800-4559. We are one of a handful of animal hospitals to achieve accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association, and we have been serving the Scottsdale community for more than 36 years.
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