Are Flabby Tabbies Amusing? There’s Nothing Humorous about Feline Obesity

Flabby obese cat

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
While many folks think that fat cats are amusing and cute, there is nothing humorous about feline obesity. In fact, quite to the contrary; fat kitties are at a much higher increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, liver problems, arthritis, cancer and a host of other disabling conditions.

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

28 thoughts on “Are Flabby Tabbies Amusing? There’s Nothing Humorous about Feline Obesity”

  1. Hi there, Kylie!

    You sound like someone who cares about her kids. It’s wonderful of you to take them him for an annual checkup, even when they show no signs of illness. Would that I had neighbors as caring as you! You also take time to play with your cats, even when they’re old and stodgy. I can also tell, from all your nice posts, how much you still miss your fur-children who’ve passed away over the years. To this I can relate. While no one knows another person’s inner landscape – is there anything more annoying than people who tell you ‘I know exactly how you feel!’? No, I don’t know any such thing, but can probably guess what you’ve gone through to lose your cats, as I’ve been there too. Anyhow, this would be a nice place to live if the neighbors had a fraction of the solicitude you have for your kids. Give them a pet for me!

  2. Jo – It’s unlikely you’ll read this, as it’s been shuffled into the Catacombs, but thank you for your lovely comments. Actually, I haven’t done a fraction of what most PoC-ites have done for their own and legions of stray cats.

    I was interested in your comment about the Manx – you’re clearly knowledgeable in feline genetics, which I am not. It’s hard to know how not having a tail could be a boon, but Louisa, whom I mentioned to you a few days ago, was a Manx, as was her years-ago predecessor – also named Louisa. While they had a hard time balancing on a fence, both had unforgettable personalities.

    Am glad you feel the same about ‘docking’ and ‘splinting.’ I have no admiration for people who do this to their animals, and still remember a dentist who married my Liz Taylor look-alike girlfriend from grammar school days. I lived in S.F. at the time, and they in Fresno, and one day they invited me down there to visit. While I was sitting in their kitchen the next morning,I heard these faint, heartrending squeaks. David had gone out to the garage and was splitting the ears, with a dental scalpel, of these newborn Doberman pups Heidi had given birth to a few days before. With my typical tact,I packed my overnight bag and left.

    Neither can I stand what I’ve caught sight of behind the scenes at dog and cat shows: the ‘owners’ brushing white powder into their animals’ coats, the back-combing and blow-drying the poor victims. As for the frou-frou trims…guess they’re okay if you’re into frilly artificiality, none of which the animal enjoys. (It’s all reminiscent of Jon Benet Ramsey.)

    Most of all, though, I’m appalled by the breeding of dogs whose deformations amuse their ‘owners.’ When a Sharpei needs a blapheroplasty (sp)to see where he’s going…well…there are no polite words for these breeders. Equally hurtful is to see and hear boxers, bulldogs and Pekinese wheezing for breath through their compressed air passages.

    And as for those doll-faced (translation: FLAT-faced)Persian cats with their oozing tear ducts…yes. They’re irresistibly cute. If you want cute, you can’t beat the photo of the kitten on the Israel Bans Declawing website. But at what price? Sorry. Not under this roof.

    ps. Though it’s of zero consequence,I never go by ‘Sylvia Ann’ – I added the ‘Ann’ because R. and B’s next-door neighbor (whom they sorely miss) was also named S., so I tacked on my middle name three-four years ago to make the neighbor happy.

    Take care!


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