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Help your cat reach their perfect weight

Help your cat reach their perfect weight

Over 30% of cats in New Zealand are estimated to be overweight. Just like humans, weight can have a serious impact on a cat’s overall health and well-being so it’s important to take action if your kitty is putting on the kilos. 

How to help your cat lose weight

It can be hard to resist the temptation to feed our cats or giving them treats when they turn on the feline charm. However, obesity in cats is a serious issue that can lead to arthritis, diabetes, urinary tract disease and other health problems. The best way to prevent or reverse this condition is, just like humans, with diet and exercise. 

Start with their nutrition
top-to-tail tip | To help your cat lose weight, feed them a specialised weight management diet.

Cats need specific foods to help them lose weight without missing out on the essential nutrients required for good health. Reducing their normal food, for example by half, means you will also be halving their protein and risking reducing essential nutrients such as calcium and essential fatty acids. This can lead to malnutrition in the long term and is why it’s important to switch to a complete and balanced diet formulated for weight management. 

Switch your cat to a weight management food, scientifically developed to work with your cats’ unique biology to help burn fat & maintain a healthy body weight for a long, happy life.  These diets are formulated with a blend of natural ingredients, including high protein, high fibre, L-carnitine and coconut oil to help support your pet’s metabolism for healthy weight maintenance.  

  • High protein to support lean muscle mass 
  • A scientifically formulated recipe that works with your cat’s biology to help burn fat 
  • A nutritionally complete and balanced diet 
  • A great solution for healthy weight maintenance and long-lasting weight support

It’s important to know that Prescription Diets are also available for weight management. These are diets are prescribed to your pet by a vet and are only available from vet clinics. To help you find a suitable weight management diet for your cat, book an appointment at your local Animates Vetcare clinic. 

Keep them active with exercise
top-to-tail tip | Exercising your cat is important to help them reach a healthy weight.

Exercising your cat in addition to making the right food choice is also important in order to help them reach a healthy weight. Some great ways to ensure your cat gets the regular exercise they need include:
 

  • Scratchers – Give your cat a tall and sturdy scratcher so they can use it to stretch out their entire body and get some solo exercise in. 
  • Toys – A fun toy will encourage your cat to get moving. Explore our wide range of cat toys from wands and teaser toys to balls and tunnels that will keep your cat active and entertained. 
  • “Hunting” – Put a few pieces of kibble in different spots each day and bring out your cat’s inner playfulness as they roam around the room looking for their tasty reward. 
  • Catch that light – Have some bonding time with your pet by shining a torch on the floor and walls and watch your cat go nuts trying to catch it. 
  • “Boxing” – Why do cats love boxes so much? Whatever the reason, give your cat a box to play in for example as a tunnel or by jumping in and out of it. Once they’ve tired themselves out they can also snuggle into it as a cosy hidey-hole. 
  • Using a harness – Some cats may enjoy a stroll around the yard using a cat harness 

If you think your cat is overweight, book an appointment with your local Animates Vetcare clinic to discuss the right food for them and other ways that you can help them achieve their perfect weight. 

Make small lifestyle changes

Avoid feeding too many treatstop-to-tail tips | No more than 10% of your cat’s their daily calories should come from treats.

As much as we love our cats and can sometimes show our affection through tasty snacks and treats, it’s best to avoid feeding them too many. To make sure your cat doesn’t consume too many calories, make sure that no more than 10% of their daily calories come from cat treats. Remember that you should only feed your feline friend with treats that are specifically made for cats, and you should not feed them human food as this is unhealthy and bad for their nutrition. 

Consider a slow feeder bowl 

If your cat eats too quickly at mealtimes, consider switching their food bowl to a slow feeder bowl. Slow feeder bowls help increase the time it takes for cats to finish their food by ensuring they properly chew their food and can help with reducing bloating, better digestion and less gas. Slow feeder bowls can also act as a little puzzle to make dinner-times more fun and mentally stimulating. 

How can I tell if my cat is overweight? 

All cats have an ideal weight for their size and breed. Your local Animates Vetcare team will be able to tell you what this is and show you how to check that your cat is maintaining a healthy weight. 

Questions you can ask yourself to determine if your cat may be overweight: 

  • Often appear tired and lazy? 
  • Hesitate when jumping onto furniture? 
  • Have difficulty grooming properly? 
  • Have matted hair on the back or tail area? 
  • Resist playing games? 
  • Tender or sore when patted over the pelvis or when elbows are touched 

You can also look out for physical signs of your cat being overweight such as: 

  • If it’s difficult to feel their ribs or spine 
  • If it’s difficult to see a defined waist 
  • Their abdomen is sagging 

Health risks for overweight cats 

While weight problems are common in cats, you can help your pet manage this health issue by feeding them the right nutrition and ensuring they receive enough exercise. There are many factors that contribute to cats becoming overweight such as age, breed and underlying health issues. Overweight cats live shorter lives than those who are at a healthy weight. Even being a few kilos overweight, as little as 20%, could mean that your cat has an increased risk of developing serious diseases such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. 

If you think your cat is overweight, book an appointment with your local Animates Vetcare clinic to discuss which food is the best for them and other ways that you can help them achieve their perfect weight. 

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