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Does your cat seem to be getting rounder lately? If so, Kitty may need to lose a few pounds! Obesity is not uncommon in housecats. In fact, by some estimates, over half of our feline friends are overweight. This probably isn’t too surprising, given that kitties spend most of their time eating and sleeping. While Fluffy may look cute if she’s a bit pudgy, she’ll be much healthier if she’s at or near her optimal weight. In this article, an Oconomowoc, WI vet discusses obesity in cats.
Extra weight can cause many of the same health problems in cats as it does in people. Heart trouble, liver disease, skin issues, diabetes, and bone and joint problems are just a few of the serious medical issues obesity can exacerbate or contribute to in felines. Overweight kitties are also at a much higher risk of developing cancer, having reproductive issues, and even have shorter lifespans!
As you’ve likely noticed, cats love to nap. Kitties can sleep up to a whopping 20 hours a day. Our feline friends certainly do like their beauty rest! When it comes to your pet’s weight, however, Fluffy’s love of napping, and the resulting lack of physical activity, certainly won’t help matters. Your chances of getting your cat to do stair runs are fairly slim, so you may need to tempt your furball into moving. When your kitty is awake, engage her in interactive play. You might find that your feline friend has a short attention span, so aim for a few short play sessions each day.
Overeating is often one of the main contributing factors to feline obesity. Just like people, kitties sometimes snack when they’re bored, so be sure to provide plenty of toys and entertainment options to keep your furball occupied. Also, be mindful of portion sizes: if Fluffy eats just ten extra calories a day, she’ll gain a pound in a year!
If you know or suspect that your feline friend is overweight, ask your vet to recommend a specific diet plan, including portion sizes. Never put a cat on a crash diet: this can wreak havoc on feline metabolism, and could make your pet very sick.
Does your cat need shots or an examination? We can help! Please contact us, your local Oconomowoc, WI veterinary clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs.