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How to Help Your Obese Cat Lose Weight
How to Help Your Obese Cat Lose Weight

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Ways To Help Obese Cat

Let’s start by asking – would you realize if your cat needed to cut down? 

You know your cat is purr-fect. It’s fluffy and has a paunchy belly. But so, what? It could also imply that it is perfectly healthy. Naturally, you may not understand if your fluffball is on the portly side. In fact, overweight cats now appear to outnumber those who have a healthy weight. 

Overfeeding your cat is a big no-no. Even a few additional pounds can increase your cat’s risk of developing certain health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. It may even prevent your cat from grooming itself properly. Therefore, keeping your cat in shape is crucial to maintain its health, and help it live longer and happier. Well, the good news is that by making some simple dietary and exercise changes, you can assist your overweight cat in losing weight.
 

What Are The Risks Of Obesity?

Obesity is becoming more prevalent in cats, just as it is in humans. It can have long-term consequences on a cat's health, quality of life, and body functioning. Therefore, obesity in cats must be addressed immediately, as it is linked to serious health problems. Here are the risks of cat obesity:

  • Compromised Immune System

When your cat becomes overweight, its immune system gets weakened, leaving it more susceptible to infection. This includes urinary infection as well as 'stones,' which are caused in overweight cats because they’re less active, drink less water, and urinate lesser than healthy cats.

  • Diabetes

Around 80% to 90% of obese cats require daily insulin shots as they are more likely to develop diabetes. But, when their excess weight is eliminated, diabetes can often be reversed.

  • Liver Failure

When your cat’s body senses that it is undernourished, for instance, if a regular food supply is interrupted, the fat is moved from reserves into the liver to be used as energy. But a cat’s body is unable to efficiently control this process, resulting in poor liver function and liver failure. 

  • Difficulty In Grooming

Cats with excess weight have a harder time grooming themselves, which can contribute to skin problems.
 

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Overweight?

  • When gently running your fingers across the side of your cat, you should be able to feel and count its ribs.
  • Then, when you look down at your cat from above, you should observe an hourglass figure. If it looks like a balloon, then your cat is certainly overweight or obese.
  • Finally, you should notice a tiny tuck or upward slope of the tummy when you look at your cat from the side. If the abdomen looks baggy and drags near the ground, that points to the presence of the most harmful and biologically active form of fat, which is abdominal fat.

Here is a chart for you to understand better – 

body condition chart

How To Avoid Obesity In Your Cat?

After you get your overweight cat in shape, your goal must be to maintain it for its good health and longevity. Here are some things you should avoid doing to keep your cat from becoming overweight:

  • Avoid Free-Feeding

You should avoid free -feeding your cat to prevent it from becoming obese. Set up definite feeding times and keep treats to a minimum.

Avoid Free-Feeding

  • Incorporate Outdoor Activities Or Excises Into The Routine

Your cat is at even more risk of becoming overweight if it does not engage in any outdoor activity. To avoid boredom and prevent weight gain, find some interesting toys, set aside playtime, and make it a priority for your indoor cat. Another approach is to go for a walk outside with your cat on a leash.

ncorporate Outdoor Activities Or Excises Into The Routine

  • Measure The Servings Each Time

Assess how much food your cat truly needs with the advice of your vet, based on your cat's activity level and desired weight. Once you've calculated how much food your cat requires, measure the food for each meal. Remember that cats are little, and while the portion may appear small to you, some extra kibbles can make the difference between maintaining weight and gaining weight.

Measure The Servings Each Time

Loosing weight is difficult for cats. Therefore, the best way is to control their weight before they get obese.

  • Play Ball!

Another way to help your cat lose weight is to increase her activity. Provide cat 'trees' for climbing or teach your cat to play fetch. Buy or create your own toys that encourage exercise. Many cats enjoy chasing lights from pointers or flashlights. One ingenious owner throws her cat's dry food ration a piece at a time! Many cats enjoy learning to walk on a leash. You also can use your cat's natural hunting instinct to help her lose weight. Hide several small portions of her daily food ration around the house. If you have a multi-level home, make your cat use the stairs. Use your imagination but be cautious. Don't let a fat cat get exhausted, overheated, or out of breath. Also, keep in mind that an old cat may not be able to exercise vigorously.

Use playtime, grooming, stroking, or conversation as rewards instead of food treats. If you cannot resist the fat cat who begs for food at the dinner table, remove the cat during dinnertime. If you have a multi-cat household, the consistent winner of the food competition sweepstakes is often obese. If this is the case, separate the cats at mealtimes if possible.

  • Patience

Obesity is easier to prevent than to cure, but it is never too late to reverse it—though it requires long-term patience and commitment. Helping cats lose weight is a slow process. If the amount they eat is severely restricted, the cat risks other health problems.

Increased activity, behavior modification (for both you and your cat), and calorie restriction are your weapons against feline obesity. However, with all these things, it is important to expect a few setbacks and plateaus. It will take at least four months for an obese cat to lose 15% of her starting weight. At that point, have another look at your cat's body condition and go on from there.

  • Tips For Starting A Weight-Management Program

Always check with your veterinarian first.
Eliminate all food treats.
Divide the daily food portion into several smaller meals.
Feed a diet formulated specifically for weight loss.
Weigh your cat every two weeks.
Cats should not lose more than 1% to 1.5% of initial weight per week.
Be patient and consistent!

 

FAQ On How To Care For Your Cats Hairball Issues

  1. Should I Worry About Cat Hairball?
  2. It is natural for a cat to throw up occasional hairballs. But you should only start to be concerned if your cat is coughing out a hairball every few weeks or for more than 48 hours at a stretch. This is a symptom of too much hair ending up in the gut.

  3. How Often Should Cats Have Hairballs?
  4. No matter how long their coat is, cats should only produce one hairball every week. Schedule an appointment with the veterinarian if your cat is vomiting hairballs more regularly or not eating.

  5. How Can I Help My Cat Pass A Hairball?
  6. You should feed your cat lots of prebiotics and natural fibers in its food to help it pass hairballs and maintain a healthy digestive tract. As a result, ensure that your cat is on a hairball-control diet and is getting enough fiber.

  7. How Long Does It Take A Cat To Pass A Hairball?
  8. Generally, the fur travels through the gastrointestinal tract undisturbed and emerges in a stool. The digestion process takes 7 to 12 hours. Sometimes the fur can also accumulate in the stomach and create a hairball. This takes a little longer, but healthy hairballs should be gone in 24 to 48 hours.

  9. Can Cat Hairballs Be Dangerous?
  10. Cat hairballs can be dangerous as they can cause severe blockages in their intestines and pose health issues later. In extreme cases, choking can also lead to death.

  11. What If The Cat Is Overweight Or Senior?
  12. Overweight cats have special nutritional needs in order to promote weight loss or weight management. Likewise, senior cats have special nutritional needs that are better met through a diet designed specifically for them. If an overweight or senior cat has problems with hairballs, feeding an IAMS hairball formula for indoor or senior (age 7+) cats is a great choice.

  13. Should IAMS Hairball Formulas Be Fed Exclusively?
  14. Yes. Mixing other foods with IAMS hairball formulas may compromise the effectiveness of this diet by diluting the nutrients that help reduce the risk of hairball formation. Switching between IAMS hairball formulas and another cat food may also decrease the benefit of feeding this diet.

  • Your Cat’s Language: What Meows, Chirps and Yowls Mean
    Your Cat’s Language: What Meows, Chirps and Yowls Mean
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    Your Cat’s Language: What Meows, Chirps and Yowls Mean

    Listen up, Mom or Dad, because your feline definitely has something to say. Cats use more than 100 different vocal sounds to communicate. Here are nine of the most common sounds you’ll hear and what your cat’s unique language means.

     

    Purr

    While your cat’s purrs are usually a sign that they’re happy, comfortable or content, it’s important to point out that your cat might also purr when they are anxious, agitated or sick — because purring soothes them. The key to figuring out if it’s a “worry purr” is to check if their ears are folded back, if they seem tense or if they just aren’t acting normal. (If that’s the case, call the vet and grab the cat carrier.)

     

    Meow

    Why do cats meow? It’s simple: It’s their way of communicating with us!
     

    Meows are your cat’s most common “word,” and every one means something different. For example, your cat might meow to greet you when you come home, to ask you to open your bedroom door so they can curl up on your pillow, or to say, “I’d like some more tasty kibble or a second serving of IAMS® PERFECT PORTIONS™ paté, s’il vous plaît.

     

    Chirps and Trills

    Chirps and trills are the loving language of cat mothers. Chirps, or chirrups, are staccato, bird-like sounds mother cats use to say to their kittens, “Follow me.” Trills are higher-pitched chirps your cat uses to say hello or “Pay attention to me.” When your cat directs these sounds at you, chances are they want you to give them some love or follow them somewhere, usually to their food or water bowl. (Shocker, LOL.)
     

    If you have more than one feline fur baby, listen closely. You’ll likely hear your cats talk to each other with these sounds.

     

    Chatter

    When your kitty spies an unsuspecting bird or squirrel frolicking outside the window, they might make a chattering sound at it. This distinctive, repetitive clicking noise is caused by a combination of lip smacking and your cat rapidly vibrating their lower jaw. This odd behavior looks like teeth chattering, and a lot of cats also chirp when they chatter.
     

    This clickety sound is thought to be a mix of predatory excitement and frustration at not being able to get to the elusive feathered or furry prize. Some animal behaviorists even think the sound mimics a fatal bite used to break the bones of their prey. Who knew your li’l feline was so ferocious?!
     

    Regardless of the exact reason cats chatter or chirp at birds and other small animals, most feline parents find it fascinating and amusing to watch.

     

    Hiss

    The unmistakable sound of a cat hissing is like a steak hitting a hot skillet, and it can only mean one thing: Your cat feels threatened and will put up a fight if they have to. Just as important as the hissing sound, however, is the cat body language that comes with it. Your cat will flatten their ears, arch their back, puff their fur, twitch their tail and usually open their mouth to flash their fangs — aka the classic defensive pose.

     

    Snarls and Growls

    In addition to a hiss, if your cat makes a deep, guttural growlsound, they’re saying, “Back off.” Similar to a dog’s growl, this noise means your cat is annoyed, scared or angry. Some cats even make short, higher-pitched snarl sounds before launching into a full-blown growl.
     

    While these sounds usually signify an unhappy cat, it’s important to note that some cats growl because they’re in pain from an injury or a health problem. If you suspect this is the case, a trip to the vet is in order.
     

    If your feline snarls or growls at you for any reason, though, it’s best to leave your feisty friend alone.

     

    Yowl

    A yowl, or howl, is a long, drawn-out meow that almost sounds like moaning; it’s your cat’s way of telling you they’re worried or distressed, or that they need you. They might have gotten locked in a closet, can’t find you anywhere or, heaven forbid, have discovered their food bowl is empty. Your cat might also yowl when they don’t feel well or when a new neighborhood cat trespasses on their turf.
     

    Whatever the reason, make sure you immediately help your cat whenever you hear a yowl. Trust us — you’ll both be glad you did.

     

    Your Cat’s Language: What Meows, Chirps and Yowls Mean