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Should You Put Your Cat on a Diet?

A lot of people love cuddly, fat cats. But is it really healthy to let your cat get so big and fluffy? Feline obesity is a common problem among cats over the age of seven and can lead to a number of health problems. It is easy for a pet owner to ignore weight gain among cats. Because so many cats are overweight and an extra bit of fat is considered somewhat cute. However, there is nothing cute about the kinds of issues that occur when cats gain too much weight, especially when they are older.

As felines age, they are likely to put on extra weight. This often happens because they are less active than they were when they were younger. You may find that the same amount of food you gave your cat when it was younger is causing him or her to put on extra ounces as it ages. Many pet owners put out food and allow cats to graze throughout the day. This is fine for younger cats, but if your feline has a weight problem, you should feed it at regular intervals and utilize portion control. Also, encourage your cat to drink more water. The water will fill your cat up, and make it less likely to overeat.

Cats that are overweight, especially in advanced years, have a high likelihood of developing osteoarthritis, type II diabetes, respiratory ailments, skin conditions and other health problems. Take your cat to a veterinarian on a regular basis for a general checkup and discuss concerns about weight gain. Your veterinarians recommended food is appropriate for aging cats or for felines who have gained too much weight. You can find low-calorie, high-protein varieties of wet food for your cat. Mixing this healthier wet food with dry food has roughage, which is good for teeth, aids digestion and helps make your cat feel fuller longer.

 

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Your cat should be weighed as part of a general checkup. But, in between visits, you can test whether your pet is overweight by feeling its ribs. When you squeeze the sides of the rib cage, your cat should neither be too boney or too chubby. You should be able to feel the ribs without feeling them jutting out too much. The guideline for feeding your cat is 200 calories per day for a 10 pound cat. Make sure that you do not feed your feline human or dog food if it is on a weight loss program.

Just as exercise is an important part of weight reduction in humans, the same is true with cats. While it is unlikely you’ll be able to take your kitty out for jog, you can still encourage your cat to get more exercise. Buy balls and toys that your cat can chase around or find towers specifically designed for feline climbing. One reason for obesity in old age is that a feline is less active. So, make your cat feel like a kitten again with toys designed for exercise and fun.

Fat cats may look adorable, but health problems associated with obesity in felines are something you and your cat can definitely live without. Regulate feeding times and invest in low-calorie, high-protein wet food to improve your cats general health.

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