Does your kitty make a loud thud when she jumps off a chair? Is Fluffy getting harder to carry or pick up? If so, you may have a furry little butterball on your hands. While this isn’t exactly good news, your pet is at least in good company: over half of our feline pals are obese. Read on as a local East Indianapolis, IN vet discusses chubby kitties.
With some cats, it’s very easy to tell if they are overweight or obese. However, with fluffy or large cats, it can get tricky. Here’s a quick test: try to feel your cat’s ribs. If you can’t feel them at all, well, you may have a chubby pet on your hands. If you can feel them beneath a layer of muscle and fat, your cat may be at or near her ideal weight. If you can easily feel them, with little or no padding, your feline pal may be underweight. Of course, you’ll want to check with your vet for an official opinion.
Pudgy pets face many of the same health issues that overweight people can develop, such as heart disease, diabetes, liver and kidney issues, respiratory problems, and skin trouble. Those extra pounds can also increase your cat’s chances of developing certain cancers, and can even shorten her life expectancy!
Just as with people, diet and exercise both play crucial roles in your cat’s weight. Offer your kitty a good, high-quality pet food, but don’t go overboard with fatty snacks. Pay close attention to serving sizes, too: giving your kitty just a few extra calories a day can cause her to pack on pounds. Exercise is also important. However, you probably won’t have much luck getting Fluffy to walk on the treadmill. Instead, keep your cat active with daily play sessions. Also, offer her some cat furniture that encourages her to jump and climb.
Never put your furry friend on a diet without first consulting your vet. Crash diets are very, very dangerous for cats! They can affect your kitty’s metabolism, which could make Fluffy very sick. Just like people, cats must slim down slowly to lose weight safely.
Please contact us, your East Indianapolis, IN pet hospital, with any questions or concerns about your cat’s diet. We’re here to help.