Is your cat overweight? The odds are pretty good that it is. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has research that shows as many 57% of house cats in the US are overweight. First, you should learn the best way to tell if your cat is overweight. Then we can look at why your cat is so overweight. After that, we can look to the next steps to get your cat’s weight back under control.
How do you know if your cat is overweight? What does a fit and healthy cat look like? You can answer this with a body condition score of your pet. First, look down on it from above. Can you see a naturally occurring waist between the back of its ribs and its pelvis? With a fluffy cat, you may need to use your hands to feel for this. Then put your hands on its chest. If you maine coon kittens for sale near me can easily feel its ribs, it is probably fine. If you can feel a thick layer of fat between your hands and the bones, then your cat is overweight.
So how did your cat get so fat? Many people think that spaying or neutering their cat made it overweight, and veterinarians say that removing your cat’s hormones can change its metabolism and it can change its activity level. Just like with humans, if a cat develops a sedentary lifestyle and doesn’t change the way it eats, it will probably put on weight. So if you have recently had your cat fixed, it makes sense to monitor its body condition score a couple of times a week. If you see its body begin to fill out, change its diet. The earlier you make the change, the better off your cat will be.
How can you stop your cat from getting overweight? Or if it has already gotten a little thick, how can you stop the weight gain before your cat becomes enormous? There is no trick to this. Just like with people, the answer for cat obesity is diet and exercise. The vet really can’t help that much. There is a medication for overweight dogs, but it is not safe for cats. So it is up to you to improve your cat’s diet, cut down on the amount of food it gets in a day, and provide it an opportunity for exercise.
Just because you have an indoor only cat, that is no excuse for it to be lazy. A healthy cat will exercise and play if it is given the chance. You just need to make sure that it has something it can climb up on. Cats love to climb and look down on people. They also love to look out of windows, so if you have a window sill your cat can climb up on, make sure you keep it uncluttered so he can enjoy it. You may want to buy it some kind of carpeted climbing structure, but before you do, check to see if there is anything in the house that discourages your cat from being active. You might not have noticed this before, but it could be that anytime your cat moves around your house, your dog chases it. Or worse, your children do. So before you add things to the environment, it may be there are things you need to take away, or little people who need some instructions on how to play nice with the cat.
If you think your cat is overweight, you may be right since well over half of US cats are. You can check your cat’s body condition score to know if it is overweight or not. It could be that your cat is fat in response to having been spayed or neutered, or there could be something else that changed its activity level. You can do your part to help your cat’s health by altering its diet and giving it more chances to play and be active. So why is your cat so overweight? Because you haven’t started helping it lose weight yet.