Weight gain is a common issue with cats, especially for older ones with slower metabolism or indoor kitties. Our Lincoln vets list signs that your cat may be overweight and what steps you can take.
How can I tell if my cat is overweight?
You can confirm whether your cat is overweight by bringing them to the vet for an exam. The veterinarian can also provide a specific diagnosis and provide guidance for weight management.
Knowing if your cat is overweight is important. You can check by feeling their rib cage; on healthy cats, it's as thick as the back of your hand. If you can't feel the ribs or only when pressing hard, your cat might be too heavy.
You can also visually assess your cat. Look down while they stand - there should be a slight waistline above the hips (though long hair can make it tricky). If the waist area bulges out, your cat might be overweight.
How can I help my cat lose weight?
If your vet determines that your cat is carrying excess weight, they will recommend an exercise plan and dietary adjustments to assist them in achieving a healthier weight. Here are several steps you can take to aid your cat in shedding pounds:
Cats can stay healthy with just a little exercise, but the right amount depends on their age and breed. For most cats, two short, interactive play sessions each day (around fifteen minutes each) are good. This can include activities like playing with toys by chasing and jumping.
You might also consider getting an indoor cat tree to give them more chances to climb and jump.
Diet & Feeding
To assist your pet in losing weight slowly, provide them with nourishing cat food designed for weight control. If your cat is significantly overweight, your veterinarian might suggest a special therapeutic food for weight loss. Remember to introduce the new cat food gradually to help your pet adjust.
Bring your cat to the vet to be weighed on a regular basis. This will let the vet know if further dietary adjustments or testing are needed.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.