Overweight Cats: Know the Risks

Obesity is a serious health condition in cats, but often goes unnoticed because weight gain is gradual. For an overweight cat, even just a little extra weight can make a big difference in her health, and can put her at risk for a number of serious health issues, including:

  • Skin diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis and reduced mobility
  • Urinary disease

If you feel that your cat is overweight, be sure to see your vet so that you can work together on a safe solution.

 

Recognizing the problem: body condition score

 

Body condition score is a tool used to evaluate the body fat level and to determine proper body condition in animals. A vet will check your cat from whiskers to tail, feeling ribs and belly along the way, to see if your cat is at a healthy weight or not. 

Play to her instincts: exercise through playtime

 

Exercise is more fun when it doesn’t seem like exercise. Here are some games you can play with your cat to keep her moving and help her lose that extra weight.

 

On the hunt

 

As much as she may seem like a friendly furball, your cat is really a hunter at heart. Hide a few kibbles of food around the house (your vet can recommend a good weight management food) to keep her hunting around for her “prey.” Be sure to place it in a variety of locations, where she will need to reach, jump, etc.

 

Chase and catch

 

Let her chase a light or feather toy. She’ll love the attention and the chance to hone her innate “catching” skills. As she loses weight she’ll be able to play more actively for longer periods of time.

 

Tips for making playtime a success

  • Provide her with a variety of safe toys, and rotate them often. Cats sometimes get tired of the same old thing, but old toys feel new when she hasn’t seen them for a while.

  • Cats love order and predictability, so try to play with her at similar times each day, such as before dinner or when you come home.

  • Cats generally prefer interactions to be frequent, but not necessarily intense. Playing just for a few minutes several times a day may be better for her patience than trying to play for 30 minutes just once a day, giving her a better overall workout.

 
 

 

Benefits of achieving a healthy weight

for your cat

 

Your cat will feel more like her young self if she’s able to achieve and maintain her ideal weight. Keeping your cat at a healthy weight can benefit in the following ways:

 

PLAY TIME

They are better able to run, jump, play and take part in family activities.

LOWERED DISEASE RISK

Cats at ideal weight are at a lower risk for a variety of weight-related diseases.

GROOMING

Optimal-weight cats can groom themselves easily.

AVOIDING HEALTH ISSUES

They are more likely to get up and go to the water dish or litter tray more often, helping avoid issues such as urinary tract disease.

COMFORT

Healthy cats seek out the most comfortable spots in their environment.

INCREASED MOBILITY

They naturally move around a bit more even if they don't exercise a lot.

RELAXED

Keeping up on daily routines helps cats stay relaxed and feel in control of their surroundings.

MENTAL HEALTH

Healthy weight contributes to better emotional and mental health in cats.

 

Balanced nutrition can be life-changing

 

Your cat’s day-to-day activities can be negatively impacted if she’s not at a healthy weight. Food that provides a balanced nutrition can help her reach optimum weight while still keeping her full and satisfied. Hill’s™ Science Diet™ Perfect Weight foods contain high quality ingredients that are carefully combined to bring out the delicious chicken flavour that cats love. Find Hill’s™ Science Diet ™ Perfect Weight foods online, at your vet clinic or at a pet store near you

 

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