A couple weeks ago , I received an email from someone wanting to write a guest post. She is from Australia so her statistics are from there, but I found the article a great reminder for everyone- especially me. Thank you for this Melianie-
Your Cat Maybe Fat- What Can You Do About That?
Cats are definitely cuter if they are fluffier, chubbier and bigger-just like Garfield, Snowbell and others. But did you know that fat, a.k.a. obese cats , have higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and problems on skin, respiratory system, reproduction, to name just a few ? Don’t say your cat is not fat. According to Australian Veterinarian Association 2.4 millions cats in the OZ are considered obese. That’s 4 in 10 cats. And your cat is most likely one of them.
How to Know if Your Cat is Obese?
Ideally, domestic cats should weigh 8-10 pounds. Some breeds like Siamese and Persian cats, however, can weigh up to 12 pounds and Maine Coon cats can be as heavy at 25 pounds and still be considered normal. It’s best to check what the normal weight is for your cat and stick with that. Now if cats weigh 20% heavier than normal, then they will be considered by vets as obese.
No weighing scale? No problem! Greencross Vets suggests owners to answer these questions honestly to find out:
- Is it difficult to feel your cat’s ribs?
- Is your cat round- shaped with no “waist”?
- Is your pet reluctant to move around?
- Is your pet waddling when walking?
- Is your cat feeling so tired easily?
- Did someone say your cat is fat?
- Has your pet been desexed?
- Does your cat keep on eating as long as there is food in the bowl?
If your answer is “yes” to most of these questions, then your cat is probable fat.
It is always recommended to see a vat for a serious checkup. Most owners never take the vet’s advice seriously, though. Normally, vets will recommend helping the cat to lose 2 or so pounds. Humans go on thinking that 2 pounds will be lost on its own, like ho it normally happens to us. Its different on cats , though, because a cat’s 2 pounds is 28 pounds in humans.
How to Keep Your Cat Fit and Healthy ?
Besides the enormous expense of having unhealthy, obese cats, the extra weight they carry will be an everyday burden for their entire life. As owners, it is our responsibility to provide them with the best living condition possible. Here are some ways:
Don’t feed dry kibble, Choose wet canned food.
Cats are carnivores by nature.Their usual preys-rabbits, birds and mice-are mostly protein with only up to 5% calories from carbohydrates. But, the generic dry kibbles that modern domestic cats are eating for years have up to 50 % calories from carbohydrates. Dr. Lisa Pierson, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, suggests feeding our feline friends with canned food that is mostly rabbit or poultry. Fish and beef are okay, but can be problematic to some cats, who are used to eating dry food.
Many owners tend to just fill the bowl with food and then refill it when nearly empty. This should not be the case. Read the maker’s label and follow that accordingly. Concord Veterinary Hospital also recommends feeding cats only twice a day-once in the morning , and once at night. Never give more food even if they crave or plead for more.
Be more active.
How much active should your cat be? Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association recommends 5 hours of physical exercise to keep a cat healthy and avoid obesity. Indoor cats do not get as much physical activities as outdoor cats, making the former prone to boredom. And boredom results to overeating. Walking your cat and letting it play in the park with other cats is the best.
But if being outdoors is not possible, you can still have fun activities indoors that will help burn those extra calories and beat boredom. Many owners play with the laser light, or throw a ball of yarn , or set up an area for play. A scratch post with extra features for fun play is a great idea for this. You can also hide a canned food somewhere and let the kitties find ’em! This will be very rewarding for your pet, without spending extra for treats.
These things are easier said/read than done. Take it slowly and surely so you and your cat don’t feel the shock of this healthy change. Too much change at once can be very overwhelming and stressful. For example, if your cat is fed 4 times a day, make it 3 for a week or so, until you get to the normal norm.
Lastly, always measure your cat’s progress-the weight, food intake, minutes of activities, etc. because those figures will always inspire you to do better. Soon, there will be no obese cat on the planet, or at least in your home.
Melianie Cho is a veteran blogger who specializes on various topics including pet care and pet product reviews for : http://www.realsmart.com.au/pet-care/cat-supplies
Melianie is also an avid pet lover with two adorable kitties.
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