Obesity affects not only us humans, but also our cats. Upwards of 40 percent of cats in Sweden are overweight.
And just like for us, obesity carries an increased risk of several diseases in the cat, such as diabetes, joint problems, various skin conditions and a weakened immune system.
Being overweight also means an increased load on the internal organs and the skeleton. Obesity can also mean a vicious circle because it often leads to reduced desire to exercise and thus reduced energy needs, which in turn contributes to increased obesity.
The most common cause of obesity in cats is simply too much food and too little exercise, although there are diseases that reduce metabolism, but it is uncommon.
Age, castration and joint pain play a role
Neutered cats also have a lower energy need at the same time as they have a greater appetite, which Kurera wrote about earlier. If the cat is also old or has joint pain, it also contributes to the risk of being overweight.
So what should you do if your cat is overweight? Let it be examined by a veterinarian to be able to rule out any underlying disease as a cause of obesity. There you can also get tips and advice on how much the cat should lose weight and how to go about it.
Special diet foods are needed if you want to make your animal lose weight and you need to be careful with the sizes of the portions. At many animal clinics, you can also participate in weight loss programs, with regular weighing of the cat.
7 tips for you who are the mistress or master of a round cat!
- Pull in candy pieces and snacks.
- Diet food has a high fiber content, which gives a high feeling of satiety while keeping blood sugar at a steady level throughout the day, which can be a good alternative.
- In a new bachelor’s thesis from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), however, it emerged that wet food has a low content of calories due to the fact that they contain liquid. Water as an ingredient in a feed contributes to the calorie density decreasing and the feed weighs more without more energy being added. Several studies showed that a diet consisting of wet food or a combination of wet and dry food led to successful weight loss, partly through an increased feeling of satiety.
- It’s not just hunger that makes the cat beg for food. Some cats are just very fond of food or eat out of old habit.
- Rather go for a walk (if you have an indoor cat) or play with it when it begs, it can be at least as good a reward as a piece of candy or extra meal.
- Tricks to get the cat to exercise can be to play with a ball, a toy on a string or a laser pointer. Or make it climb, for example to place the food bowl high, so that the cat has to jump or climb to get the food.
- Remember that it can take a lot of patience to “lose weight” a cat and the weight loss must not go too fast, as it can cause liver damage to the cat. One guideline is that the cat can reduce 2 percent of its weight per week.