Obesity and Dieting in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

More and more cats are becoming overweight or even obese. Weight gain often creeps in and as a pet owner you easily miss discovering the problem in time. This article is to help you understand why it is important for your cat to stay in shape and show you how to reach your goal in a good way!

If you see a marked waist and neck and can clearly feel your cat’s ribs and hip bones and it does not have a bag under its stomach, your cat is probably normal weight. An average cat usually weighs between 2.5-5.5 kg approximately. However, if your cat weighs 15% more than the ideal weight for the cat’s size, your cat is considered overweight and if it weighs more than 25% too much, people are rather talking about the cat suffering from obesity. Today, well over a fifth of our Swedish cats are considered overweight.

Start thinking about the weight even before the young cat is neutered. Being overweight at a young age means that the body forms more fat cells, which increases the risk of obesity. When you have then neutered the cat or it has started to age, you should also keep an extra close eye on the weight, as the metabolism and activity level changes.

How to get the cat to keep the weight off?

  • Provide a quality food adapted to the cat’s age
  • Give a light food if the cat, for example, is fond of food or neutered
  • Measure the daily requirement of feed according to the guide on the feed bag
  • Avoid leftover food and cat treats Weigh your cat regularly
  • Activate your cat in many different ways that both you and the cat like

How to get your cat to lose weight in a healthy way?

To lose weight, you must reduce your energy intake and increase your activity level. But it must be done at a reasonable pace to function in a good way and not, for example, erode the muscle mass in the body.

For overweight cats, it is very important to eat regularly, as they may otherwise suffer from severe fatty liver disease.

Weigh your cat before starting to lose weight and set a target weight. The target weight should not be lower than 85% of the starting weight. Within 3 months, the target weight must be reached.

Weigh the cat every week during the slimming period and strive for the cat to lose 1-2% of the starting weight per week.

Cats should not be lost weight faster than 2% a week.

Example: An overweight 5kg cat has a target weight of 4.25kg to be achieved within 3 months. Every week the cat loses between 50-100g. The cat reaches the target weight after 2-3 months.

Increase your own motivation by photographing your cat before it starts to lose weight and when it has reached its target weight. The difference becomes obvious!

To succeed in slimming, you should give the cat a veterinary slimming food, which is specially made to meet the cat’s nutritional needs and at the same time provide satiety even though the energy content of the food is low. In addition, the slimming feed optimizes the body’s own fat burning.

Example: Give 2-3 meals of diet food a day that you have weighed before. This way, you have full control over your cat not eating too much diet food. Remember to only give slimming wet food if you usually give the cat wet food. Then subtract the corresponding amount from the dry food. Give nothing else! You can bake the slimming wet food in the oven to make useful “goodies”.

When your cat has reached the target weight, you can possibly change to a light food, or give some light wet food next to the slimming food. Continue to keep track of weight, activation and follow the general advice above in the future as well.

What are good exercise for an overweight cat?

A simple tip is to let your cat work for food. Use special toys for the purpose and possibly place the food high up on a climbing frame, etc. Have several daily play sessions together, for example, different types of fishing rods etc. can work well. Leash walks are also good for overweight cats, so feel free to try to get your cat used to this.

The more versatile your cat is activated and the more fun you have together, the better results you will achieve and the happier and more active your cat will be!

Take extra care of your overweight cat’s fur, as being overweight complicates the cat’s own fur care.

Tip! If the cat poops a lot or is hungry despite getting the right food, you can try different brands of veterinary diet food until you have found what suits your cat best. If the effect seems to diminish over time, you can also change the brand. Sometimes the body “gets used” to the feed.

Did you know that: Overweight cats risk a shorter life and that several serious diseases are linked to obesity. The treatment of these diseases is also made more difficult. These are diseases such as joint pain, urinary tract problems, skin problems, heart disease, respiratory problems, liver disease and diabetes. Obesity also increases the risks of anesthesia, impairs fertility and causes general fatigue.

What do you do if it still does not work?

If the above advice does not help, it is time to contact a veterinarian. The cat may suffer from certain diseases that can contribute to obesity. Illness can also make activation or dieting more difficult.

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