Did you know that over half of our feline pals are overweight or obese? This probably isn’t a surprise. After all, sleeping and eating are most kitties’ favorite pastimes. However, while cats’ love of naps is cute, it does make it easy for them to gain weight. This can be very bad for their health! A Carroll, IA and Jefferson area vet discusses Fluffy’s expanding waistline below.
Obesity carries some very serious health concerns for both people and pets. Chubby pets are at elevated risk for several medical issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and liver and kidney issues, to name a few. Fluffy may look cute if she’s a bit pudgy, but she’ll be much healthier staying at or near her ideal weight!
Diet of course plays a huge role here. Even giving Fluffy just ten calories too much a day can make her gain a pound a year. That’s a lot for a kitty! Quality is important as well. Many lower-quality pet foods are loaded with fillers like corn and wheat, which aren’t great for cats. Begging is also a factor here. Some of our feline patients have their humans wrapped around their paws. If your furball is turning into a butterball, those plaintive meows could be blatant lies!
Cats are very energetic when they’re young, but they steadily slow down as they age. By the time your kitty is 8 or 9, she’ll probably be more interested in napping than in perfecting those tricky run/jump/pounce combos. Keep Fluffy active by offering her lots of toys and playing with her regularly. Even a few minutes of playtime will be beneficial.
While diet and exercise are certainly the most common reasons kitties get pudgy, they aren’t the only causes. Age can also be a factor, as can medical issues. If you aren’t sure why Fluffy is, well, not just fluffy, consult your vet.
Kitties must lose weight slowly and steadily to drop pounds safely. Ask your vet for specific dietary advice. Then, just stick to the plan! Fluffy can’t exactly get herself a snack, so you don’t have to worry about her cheating. However, you may need to steel yourself against your pet’s theatrical begging tactics.
Please contact us, your Carroll, IA and Jefferson area vet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!