A cat can suffer from a certain overweight, evenobesity, and this problem is more and more frequent. It is often due to the fact that many masters commit errors in terms of feeding their little ones. But it can also originate from an illness or a behavioral problem, for example. However, it is necessary not to let the extra pounds settle down because being overweight is never good for you. So let’s see how to know if a cat is too big and if so, what are the best solutions for him to lose weight permanently without harming his health.
Overweight cats: the signs that never lie
Regardless of what the scale may reveal, there are some indisputable signs that a cat is too big, namely:
- A layer of fat covers his ribs to such an extent that they can no longer be felt on palpation,
- With each movement of the animal, its belly and flanks seem to float due to a excess weight,
- Seen from above, the animal is too large in size when it should be noticeably marked,
- Her head is round and her cheeks a little too plump,
- His neck is fat and we can see a bulge on the top, even a ball of fat under the chin.
In addition to these physical details, the oversized cat is not very dynamic, is short of breath at the slightest movement, and does not rush to play or go out. He just wants to sleep and as soon as he opens an eye, to eat.
Overweight cat: what are the health risks?
If its owner does not react, the already overweight cat will continue to gain weight, and be more and more exposed to many health problems For example :
- Diabetes mellitus,
- Early osteoarthritis, mainly in the spine and pelvis, causing lameness and joint pain,
- Hepatic lipidosis,
- Respiratory disease,
- A dermatosis, because overweight is an aggravating factor,
- Intestinal, urinary, gastric, digestive disorders,
It is of course urgent of make your cat lose weight to protect his health.
To lose weight in a cat that is too big: the right method
For a cat to lose its extra pounds, it is necessary to combine diet and physical activity. In fact, the animal must quickly benefit from a perfectly balanced diet, eat without excess, and at the same time get enough energy every day.
Encourage your cat to exercise
To lose weight, the body must burn more calories than the animal consumes because it is necessary to create a deficit at this level. In this way, it is in the excess fat that the energy will be drawn leading to weight loss. Physical activity also helps to maintain good quality musculature because there is no question of the cat losing its muscles. The good idea is to limit the time the animal spends on the couch. His master must encourage him to jouer, which is possible if he is ready to devote a little of his free time to his little companion on a daily basis.
We can use and abuse a few subterfuges to push a cat to exercise such as hiding treats (light if possible), installing his bowl on the windowsill rather than on the ground so that he is obliged to jump every time he wants to eat, offer him a educational bowl or even hanging toys and of course forcing him to go out into the garden even if this requires the use of a harness.
Promote gentle weight loss
Attention from not to make your cat lose weight too quickly because it would put him at risk of gaining weight in the short term. The yo-yo diets do not exist only in humans! We therefore do not starve our animal and we avoid that the modification of its diet is too rapid, especially as the digestive system of the cat may not appreciate such an upheaval.
If the little feline was used to finding a full bowl at all hours of the day and night, you have to have the courage to end this bad habit. On the other hand, he must have access to his water bowl 24 hours a day. small portions of food distributed over the day, which can be facilitated by a kibble dispenser that delivers only a small amount of food. This is a good solution if you want to gradually regulate the appetite of a gluttonous cat.
It seems important to us to emphasize that, if the cat suddenly feels deprived of food, he can become aggressive, suffer from stress or even become fearful… in short, change his behavior quite radically.
Beware of dietary deficiencies
Finally, of course, we take care to protect our little companion against nutritional deficiencies. Even on a diet, the cat should not lack vitamins, minerals and trace elements. A quick trip to the vet is strongly recommended so as not to make any mistakes. This practitioner can quite develop daily menus over a sufficient period to allow the cat to regain the line in the best conditions and without risk to his health.
Overweight cat: identify the cause of this overweight
Consulting the veterinarian is essential if you find that your cat is too big because it is useful to identify the causes of overweight. Is he eating too much? Is he too sedentary? Is the overweight due to an endocrine disorder, to a drug treatment or to a depressive state? The owner of the animal can also learn by this means if he made feeding errors causing weight gain in his animal .
The diet is then worked out case by case and can consist of food prepared at home or of low calorie kibble and cat food. As for the dietary doses to be respected, they are evaluated by the veterinarian who takes into account the cat’s age, sex, state of health, lifestyle and of course the number of pounds to lose.
Of food for obese cats are marketed by specialized stores. This is for example hypo-energetic croquettes, that is to say low in lipids but well supplied with nutrients, fibers and proteins. Note that these products are sometimes reimbursed by mutual health insurance for animals in addition to veterinary expenses. It may therefore be wise to take out a contract and to find the best deals at the moment, it is ideal to use a cat health insurance comparator.