Do you have a cat of generous proportions?
Is your furry friend festively plump? Research has shown that over 50% of our pets are overweight or obese.
What's even worse, if your cats and dogs are in this group they are more susceptible to a variety of health issues including osteoarthritis, heart disease, respiratory problems and diabetes.
Unfortunately, many pet owners are under the impression that food intake plays very little part in the weight of their animal when in fact it is the primary driver. And as an owner, you are responsible for the amount your cat consumes. (unless he's eating 30 birds a day while you're out at work!
So how do you know if you're cat needs to lose weight?
Look out for visual signs. These include:
- a noticeably fat neck and a tummy that sways when he runs
- not being able to feel your cats ribs when you place your hands on either side of their chest
- a lack of definition on his waist, appearing rounder rather than an hourglass
You can also use this chart to get an idea of your cats weight risk
The average owner is prone to underplaying the weight of their pet and is likely to not realise their animal is overweight. So the best course of action to be sure you have a healthy kitty is to book an appointment with your local veterinarian. They are best qualified to determine your cats body condition and can implement strategies to get overweight or obese animals back on the right track.
Changing your pets' diet to something that better suits their life stage and lifestyle is crucial. We have a tendency to overfeed so ensuring an optimal portion size, along with putting the cat our during the day to run around will go a long way to helping them reach an ideal weight.
And don't be weak!!
It's easy to succumb to a pleading meow when you're eating your own meal. But feeding your cat human scraps can be a large contributor in making them overweight. Before you give Fluffy a little treat, consider this.
For a 5kg cat:
Two potato chips = 1 hamburger for a human
30g piece cheese = 2.5 hamburgers for a human
A glass of milk = 3 hamburgers for a human!
So you can see from this how easy it is to overfeed your animal!
Cats can bring so much pleasure and companionship to a persons life. Make sure you help them stay in shape so they can be around for cuddles as long as possible!