Managing Your Cat’s Weight
We face a feline obesity epidemic today in our society. As little as two pounds of excess weight can put your cat up to three times the risk for contracting type II diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, joint injuries and urinary tract disease. Obese cats have a significantly shorter lifespan when compared to cats that live at an optimum, healthy weight.
Our feline pets enjoy a life of leisure with all of their daily necessities provided by us and now take advantage of a sedentary lifestyle. Instinctive hunting behaviors remain but are exhibited as a form of playing and rarely last longer than an hour each day. In addition to reduced exercise, spayed and neutered cats have significantly lower daily energy requirements due to a decrease in their metabolic rate. Also, most commercial cat foods are formulated to be highly palatable, which is often accomplished by the addition of fat. All of these factors lead to an excess of calories beyond what your cat may be burning.
Dietary management is the first area you can make to improve an overweight cat’s physique. Always consult with a veterinarian to determine the optimum diet for your cat’s needs. Also make sure your cat gets at least 15 minutes of exercise a day, often through the use of toys or laser pointers. Keep everyone in the household involved, make sure no one is helping your pet “cheat” on their diet, and soon your feline should be healthy and fit.
Remember, most weight loss should be done slowly, often taking over half of a year. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s weight, please give us a call at Copper Hill Animal Clinic, where we can discuss the best approach to finding a healthier balance for your pet!
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