According to a recent study by the Association for Pet Obesity, 57.9% of cats and 52.7% of dogs are overweight or obese. As you can imagine, obesity can lead to serious diseases and it shortens your pet’s life. The fact is that we as owners are entirely at fault for our pets’ obesity and we are responsible for fighting it. So here’s what we can do to improve the quality of our beloved pets’ lives.
When it comes to cats and exercise, it’s fairly difficult to make it possible. With a dog, you can take it for a walk or a jog and the problem will be solved, but what can you do to increase your cat’s activity? It might take some effort, but it’s not impossible.
Cats are natural born hunters, and by keeping them in our apartment and leaving them alone, they will be forced to forget all about their instincts and just take naps all day. So try to motivate your kitty to be more active.
You should spend more time with it, and playing with your cat is also good for bonding. You could also get her some toys that simulate hunting a prey. But probably the best option is to adopt another cat. And before you say “no way,” you should consider that having company has great benefits on your pet’s physical and mental health and two cats are definitely double the fun and joy for you.
As soon as you notice your cat is overweight, you shouldn’t ignore it and believe the problem would solve itself. Chances are it will become even worse and it would have a really negative effect on your furry pet.
First of all, take notice of your cat’s weight. Regularly monitor any changes before they become a serious problem. Also, you should start doing it early. Even if your cat is young now, if it’s already overweight, the situation is only going to progress and cause health issues to your kitty when it grows up.
When it comes to the food, you must be careful to choose the right amount and the right type. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your cat with the choice of when and how much it will eat. Make a fixed schedule of two to four small portions and measure the food in ounces and not in cups. A cat’s meal shouldn’t be larger than about 1/25 of a human meal.
Furthermore, it highly depends what kind of food you will feed your cat. Younger cats require more energy which means more calories than older cats do. Also, if your cat is active, it will need more calories than a couch potato cat – just like humans. And just like humans, cats tend to gain weight if they are fed with lots of carbohydrates. They are carnivores and you should act accordingly. Dry food that you can just pour into the bowl is fine sometimes, but don’t forget to give your cat a nice meaty meal every once in a while. And since every cat is different, you should pay attention to what kind and amount of food suits your pet.
Another problem arises with cat treats. Whenever our cat does something good or when it vocalizes, we tend to reward it with food (or give it food to shut it up). This, naturally, conditions them to expect food every time they’ve been good, but also, it reinforces this vocalizing which is just like crying in spoiled children. You can imagine how this can be bad in all sorts of ways. So, if you must give your cat a treat, make it a protein treat and avoid treats for vocalizing. Of course, you should stop giving treats altogether to an obese cat.
As you can see, with the right kind of diet and exercise, it’s certainly possible getting are beloved pets back on track when it comes to their weight. It’s only important to notice the signs of obesity and to take action early on.