Plump cats may look adorable but they are at a high risk of suffering from some serious illnesses like diabetes, heart problems and arthritis, just like humans. Therefore it’s very essential to keep your cat slim and trim by taking care of his diet and exercise. Here are some tips.
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Sedentary Life is a Strict No-no
You might admire your cat lying lazily on a soft cushion or in sunbeams which he loves a lot. However, such a sedentary lifestyle can prove hazardous for his health. Such a lifestyle can make him obese and obesity can cause many conditions that can reduce his quality of life and even cause death.
While not many statistical studies on the number of obese cats are available in Australia, it has been estimated that the numbers are quite similar to those of dogs, i.e. up to 40% of cats are overweight.
Causes and Impact of Obesity in Cats
A medical reason for obesity in cats is extremely rare; his obesity is often because of eating too much and exercising too less. As his parent, you can control his food intake easily, but increasing his activity level may be a little challenging. You can take help of the best Killara vet such as Gordon Vet to learn how to keep your pet healthy.
Domestic cats don’t tend to be naturally active. This is more because of the fact that they don’t need to hunt for food. They get them served in a platter. They can and usually do keep lazing around comfortably in which very few calories are used.
Obesity in cats can lead to liver disease, diabetes, arthritis and even an early death.
How to Know if Your Cat is Obese
The best way to know if your cat is obese or not is to check his body by feeling it all over with your hands. Ideally there should be only a thin fat layer over his ribs and the bones should be felt easily. If you are not able to feel them at all, your cat is holding too many pounds.
You can also check your cat with your eyes if the cat is short-coated. Look at his waistline from above or from a side; you should be able to see it right after his ribs.
Some overweight cats carry a large drooping fat pad on their abdomen towards their hind legs.
Safe Weight Loss for Cats
Weight loss in your cat should be brought about very carefully. Though you may feel that your feline child should lose weight fast, it’s not good for him, because it may lead to a dangerous condition called hepatic lipidosis. It occurs when the liver is infiltrated with fat and stops functioning properly. Affected cats vomit, are off their food and may develop jaundice.
You should avoid this by bringing your cat’s weight down very slowly. Using a low-calorie prescription diet suggested by someone like Gordon Vet, a leading Lindfield vet clinic, is the best for this. Ensure that you serve him after measuring each ingredient of food since you can easily be too generous with his food.
While a cat can’t be put on a leash and taken for a walk, his exercise can still be increased. You can change his environment to make him moving more. For example, you can place his food bowl on a higher level so that he would have to jump up to reach it. Provide him play things like balls, strings etc and encourage him to chase them. He’ll also enjoy playing with a spot light cast by a flashlight or laser pointer.
Maintaining a healthy weight of your cat is a challenge but it’s worth taking as your cat will remain healthy for years with it.
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