Is Your Pet Too Heavy? Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Cat Obesity

If your cat’s a little on the heavy side, you may well worry about their health. Cat obesity is a huge problem! Here’s everything you need to know.

cat obesity
Dan Perry / Flickr

You may not realize it, but cat obesity has been a growing problem for many years. Back in 2011, the APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) conducted a study in which they found that a whopping 50% of domestic cats were either overweight or obese. The sorry truth of the matter is that many pet owners don’t know whether their cat is at a healthy weight or not. They just assume that their kitty is healthy and don’t bother to investigate any further than that.

In reality, a combination of overfeeding your cat and them failing to exercise as much as they should could mean that they are overweight. This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual condition that tends to develop over time. That’s why you may not recognize it immediately. Since your cat will become heavier little by little, there won’t be an obvious or even dramatic change.

When is a cat actually ‘obese’?

Many people struggle with cat obesity because they don’t know where the actual line is. Luckily, there’s a Body Condition Score (BCS) that you can use to determine whether your cat is at a healthy weight or not. The table takes into consideration things like whether you can see your cat’s ribs, their muscle tone, and their general weight.

cat obesity score chart

As you may imagine, there are many different things that contribute to your kitty’s general health. It’s worth taking the time to look at the scale and understand it. Of course, if you worry that your cat is obese, it’s probably best to take them to the vets. They will be able to do a full consultation with your pet and let you know what you have to do next.

Health issues related to cat obesity

As you may well imagine, there are a whole load of health concerns related to cat obesity. When your pet is carrying too much weight, they can quickly become ill in all manner of ways. That’s why you absolutely need to make sure that you look after your cat well and take care of their weight too. Here are some of the issues that your cat may suffer from:

  • Joint pain and stress

  • Tiredness

  • Diabetes Mellitus

  • Low energy

  • Breathing problems

Of course, all of the above are just the start of your cat’s issues when they have excess weight. The more weight that they gain over time, the more likely they are to be stricken with some type of illness. For that reason, you 100% have to do something about this issue as soon as you notice it!

How to treat the problem

So, if you have identified that your pet is suffering from cat obesity, what on earth should you do? Well, the first step is to take them to the vet and get an expert’s opinion. Your specialist will be able to tell you what you need to do next. In the meantime, there are a few ways that you can pinpoint and help to solve the problem. Here are some of the things you could try for yourself:

  • Monitor your cat’s food

Of course, the crux of this issue is the fact that your cat is eating more than they need to be. So, what you should do is monitor how much your cat eats on a daily basis. Rather than simply feeding your cat in a haphazard way, check out how much they need. Feeding them small servings at regular intervals is the best way forward.

  • Avoid treating your cat too much

If your kitty has a penchant for treats, you might find yourself giving them to them more and more. Do you ever think about the health impact that this has? It’s a major cause of cat obesity and it needs to stop. Try to keep treats to a minimum and only give small portions.

  • Play with your cat!

This one should be obvious and yet so many people overlook it all the time. What your kitty needs the most right now is some exercise. If you have a house cat, be sure to play games with them. Make them chase balls and lasers. That way, they will use some of their energy on a day to day basis.

  • Opt for quality cat food

Many mainstream cat food brands fill their products with rubbish. That means that your cat could put on weight even if they only eat a little. The best thing you can do is research the various brand before you opt for one.

If you follow the above advice, you should find that the weight starts to drop off your cat in no time at all. Genius! Even so, getting professional advice to boot is sure to help so go ahead and visit the vets too.

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