Did you know that 50% of cats in the North America are considered overweight or obese? Indoor cats are susceptible to weight gain as they often get less exercise. It’s up to us to help our cats manage their weight through diet and exercise.
Here’s what you need to know about healthy weight management for cats.
Is your cat overweight?
The first step all pet parents need to take is to keep an eye on their pet’s figure. Like us, weight fluctuations are usually the result of less than adequate exercise and diet. Overweight or obese cats are more susceptible to diseases including diabetes, arthritis, urinary tract problems, and skin problems, to name a few. It can also affect their mobility and diminish their quality of life.
Weighing your cat isn’t always an accurate measure of their health. There are other physical signs to determine if your cat is in a healthy weight range.
In cats, we refer to their Body Score:
Too Thin: They have little muscle mass, and you can easily see their ribs, spine, hip bones, and shoulder blades.
Slim: You can feel their ribs and see an obvious waistline .
Perfect: Your cat has a slight tummy tuck. When running your hands gently down her sides, you can feel her ribs and hips without pressing too hard.
Overweight: They have a sausage-like body when looking from above, no visible waistline, and their abdomen looks saggy when seen from the side.
Obese: You have to dig through the fat to find your cat’s ribs, and their abdomen is visibly saggy.
Weight management tips for cats
If your pet is overweight or obese, discuss your concern with your vet. They will likely recommend a combination of three weight management tips:
1. Keep them active
Cats don’t need fancy toys. A ball, mice toys, catnip, paper bags, bottles, and boxes are all fun toys for playtime. To avoid cat boredom, consider switching out their toys occasionally, so they have something “new” to play with.
If you have an indoor cat, consider getting them a scratching post or catio for exploring. You can even train your cat to walk on a leach and take them for walks outside.
2. Feed them healthy foods
Aside from exercise, adjusting their diet is another excellent way to encourage them to maintain a healthier weight. If you think your current recipe is more nutritionally-dense than what your cat needs, look for a weight management recipe with controlled fat and protein.
For example, Go! Solutions Weight Management + Joint Care Grain-Free Chicken Recipe is a great option for cats that need help maintaining a healthy weight because it contains:
L-carnitine to help burn fat into energy
Fibre-rich psyllium husks so they feel fuller longer
50% less fat than other Go! Solutions recipes for cats
3. Be mindful of portion sizes
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 68% of pet parents often turn to calorie reduction and smaller portions first to help manage their pet’s weight. That’s because it’s one of the most effective ways to get their weight in check.
Every cat food recipe contains its recommended portion sizes, but these can vary depending on your cat’s age, activity level, and climate. Unless you’re choosing a weight management recipe, your veterinarian may recommend feeding slightly below the daily recommended portion.
Pro Tip: Weight is a more precise way to measure food portions than volume. Always use a kitchen scale to portion out your cat’s food by weight to avoid over or underfeeding.
How you can help your cat maintain a healthy weight
With a bit of planning and the support of your veterinarian, you can help your cat better maintain a healthy weight. It will take dedication and work, but the rewards are worth it when your cat is healthy, happy, and active throughout their life.
It is about finding the right combination of healthy cat food, exercise and love.
Controlled fat solutions to support a healthy weight
Maintaining your cat's mobility + healthy weight is one of the best ways to prevent health issues. Go! Solutions Weight Management + Joint Care’s blend of lean protein, healthy fats, and functional ingredients can help your cat stay fit and full of life.
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