Excess weight in cats

If a cat is overweight, it not only affects its general vitality - it can also cause real health problems.

Excess weight (obesity) damages joints, the heart and circulation and can lead to other conditions such as diabetes. Cat owners should therefore keep a careful eye on their cat, ensuring their feline friend maintains a slender figure.

Is my cat too fat?

Genuine devotion to your cat is not shown by always keeping its food bowl full, but by interacting with your cat responsibly. This includes time spent playing and cuddling with your cat, as well as providing the right food in the right quantity. The first question is whether the animal is at an ideal weight. Assessment by a vet is often helpful in this regard. A general rule of thumb is that if you can no longer feel the animal’s ribs, or only feel them with difficulty, you have obviously been too generous with food in the past. In such a case it is high time to counter this. Taking regular, small steps is a more promising approach than implementing a radical diet.

Helping a cat to lose weight

Three points ensure long-term success in controlling weight: Firstly, the cat must consume less energy. To avoid any impairment in the supply of nutrients, a well-balanced, low-calorie diet is recommended.

Secondly, all additional titbits e.g. treats and snacks should be stopped or deducted from the daily ration of the low-calorie food. Many snacks have more calories than is generally assumed.

Thirdly, it is very important to increase the physical activity of the animal. This often specifically relates to indoor cats which get less exercise than cats which roam outdoors. They can be encouraged with hunting games, as well as with a ceiling-height scratching post.

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