Obese cats may often have extreme difficulty in self-grooming, Compared to cats of normal weight, chunky kitties are at a much higher risk of having troublesome non-allergic skin disorders, such as feline acne, and flakey dry skin. Dry skin is generally itchy resulting in skin sores from excessive scratching.
Overweight cats are often in pain or uncomfortable. As a result of their discomfort this frequently leads to a lack of interest in playful behavior; becoming a couch potato spending most of their time dozing on the living room couch, or similar areas. Chunky kitties are not having much fun. Many of them become depressed and bored since they find themselves trapped in their oversize bodies.
The most common reason for kitties to become overweight obviously is the same way that humans gain weight; their daily consumption of calories exceeds the amount than can be burned off by either normal metabolic processes, or general activity and exercise. And if you have ever tried to play with a chubby kitty, I am sure that your cat lost interest in the game way before you did. It simply requires more energy than the kitty can spare, since just moving around the house may tire them out.
How to tell if your cat is overweight:
It can be difficult for long-haired kitty guardians to recognize that their cat is in fact, overweight. Those mounds of fur can hide a wealth of crucial information about the truth of a cat’s body condition. Naturally, it’s much easier to judge whether a short haired cat is carrying unnecessary extra pounds.
According to Dr. Louise Murray, the Director of Medicine for the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City, to ascertain if your cat is overweight or on the other paw, in optimum physical shape, one way to tell is if you are able to feel her ribs, hip bones and spine; although you should not see them. If you can’t feel them, this is generally one of the signs that your cat may be overweight.
Another method to judge if your cat is overweight is to observe the kitty by looking down at her from above and see if there is a circular shape or bulge at the waistline. While it’s perfectly fine if the cat has a little bit of loose skin, (it’s just a part of the anatomy of a feline); however, if the cat’s midsection is rounded, that is a rather compelling sign that she is more likely overweight.
Tips and tricks for managing feline weight control:
To keep your cat at optimum weight or to help your overweight cat to shed those extra pounds is to feed them grainless canned food or a safe and appropriate raw food diet (and see raw food diet on PoC).
While it’s convenient for cat owners to feed dry food only, it is not appropriate for a feline’s nutritional needs. Since cats are obligate carnivores they need meat- not carbs. Feeding your cat a “Catkins” diet (high in protein and low in carbohydrates), promotes both good health and weight control. This should be a high quality cat food containing all the correct proportions of fats, proteins and other essential nutrients. Learning to read canned cat food labels is essential to avoid products that are high in carbs and low in protein.
However, prior to launching an exercise or diet program for your cat, consult with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can assess whether your cat is sufficiently healthy to begin an exercise program.
With patience, care and determination a flabby tabby can be returned to a normal weight and also help to maintain a healthier lifestyle; which can add many years onto her life.
What kind of physical condition is your cat in presently? Tell us in a comment.
Photo credit: Flicker user DanPerry.com