According to recent studies (International Journal of Applied Veterinary Medicine, 2005), nearly 35% of cats are overweight or obese. If left untreated, cats my experience serious health issues. If your cat is overweight he or she is at an increased risk of diabetes, arthritis/ joint disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, and skin problems.
Whether your cat is overweight or you just want to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle for your already fit feline, start with these 5 simple steps:
- WATCH WHAT S/HE EATS
Different cats have different needs when it comes to nutrition. That’s why you should work with us (your veterinarian) to make the right food choices for your cat. Together we can discover the right type and amount of food for your cat’s life stage and health condition.
- TRACK YOUR CAT’S WEIGHT
Losing weight can help your cat achieve better health, but only if the weight is lost in a healthy, controlled manner. To make sure your cat is losing weight at a healthy pace, weigh your cat regularly. (You can even stop by the office whenever it is convenient and we would be happy to weigh your cat for you, and keep track of his or her progress in their medical record.)
- MAINTAIN A HEALTHY ACTIVITY LEVEL
Your cat’s weight management program isn’t complete without a healthy amount of physical activity. Whether it’s playing with a new toy or just a brown paper bag, make sure your cat is getting an appropriate amount of physical activity to get and stay healthy.
- VISIT US OFTEN
Regular trips to the vet ensure your cat’s weight management program is going smoothly. We know your cat’s ideal weight, how fast he or she should be losing weight, and which foods are ideal for each stage of the weight loss plan.
- MAINTAIN AN IDEAL WEIGHT FOR LIFE
Your cat’s weight management should be lifelong. Once your cat has attained an ideal weight, switch to a simple maintenance plan that consists of regular exercise and proper nutrition.
If you are trying to reduce your cat’s weight or help your cat maintain a healthy weight, you can compliment a diet with simple and fun exercises. You can use commercial or homemade toys to encourage activity (some feline favorites are feather fishing polls, foil and paper balls, and brown grocery bags). Another fun activity is to feed your cat in different places every day so he or she can hunt for the food. Make your cat work harder by using obstacles or feeding them on tall furniture.
As you transition your cat to a healthy weight management plan it is also important to eliminate free feeding. Instead of leaving food out all of the time, feed your cat at designated times throughout the day. Controlling when and how much your cat eats can help her stick to the weight management program we recommend. For multiple-pet households, make sure to feed each pet separately, so that everyone gets the right amount of their respective foods.
If you are interested in learning more about Hill’s newest weight loss diet, Metabolic Diet, click here or give us a call at either office.