Has your cat gotten a little chunky recently? While a little bit of fat is nothing to be worried about and can actually be healthy for a cat, if your cat has started to look a little more round recently, then it might be time to think about helping them lose some of the extra weight.
Cats who are at a healthy weight are usually much happier within themselves, have more energy and agility, and they tend to live longer lives.
If you’re worried that your cat is getting a little too much on the chunky side, the good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to help them lose weight and be on their way to living a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Speak to Your Vet
If you are worried about your cat’s weight, the first thing you should do is speak to your vet. They will be able to give you advice as to whether or not your cat actually needs to lose weight and help you with a plan of action if they do.
Your vet will also be able to rule out any underlying health conditions that could contribute to weight gain and address any other health concerns that might get in the way.
What are you currently feeding your cat? Supermarket brand cat food is often cheap and easily accessible, but it’s not always the most nutritious option for your pet.
In fact, some cheap brands only have the minimum required amount of protein, and the rest is simply filled out with carbs and other stuff that doesn’t really give your cat a lot of nutrition.
Raw food is an ideal choice for cats that need to go on a diet because it’s tasty and filled with all the right nutrients. Bella & Duke cat food can even be tailored to your cat’s specific requirements to make it easier for you to ensure your pet is getting the right diet for their weight loss needs.
And it comes in handy pre-prepared meals so you can be sure of never under- or over-feeding your cat. You can find raw cat food here.
If you tend to leave kibble out for your cat all day long for her to graze on, this could lead to her overeating. Cats tend to be into grazing on their food more than other animals like dogs, but it can also lead to them eating more than they need to.
You can try and help your cat curb this habit of snacking in between meals by leaving her bowl out for an hour at each mealtime and then taking it away.
If your cat loves her dry food, then it might be worth investing in a feeding ball that she will need to chase around to get the food out of. Not only does it mean that she has to exercise for her dinner, but it’s also very mentally stimulating for some cats as well.
And pushing the ball around to get the tasty food out is always a much more fun challenge than simply eating it out of a bowl.
If you feel bad not letting your cat graze on dry food throughout the day if this is what she has been used to, you might want to consider using a feeding ball throughout the day and giving smaller portions at mealtimes to compensate.
Cut Down on Treats
Cats love treats, and they can be a great way to bond with your pet or even train your cat to do things. But, treats can pack a huge amount of calories, and before you know it, they could easily become the reason why your cat is getting a little on the chunky side if you are giving her treats several times a day. Instead of feeding treats as a reward, why not try playtime instead? A teaser toy or a laser mouse can be an ideal substitute for giving a treat if you are concerned about your ability to bond with your cat – and it can be a great exercise too.
Cats typically will exercise in short and fast bursts throughout the day rather than in long stretches. So, plan some short yet engaging playtimes with your cat that will get him moving without completely tiring him out or leaving him bored.
If your cat is lazy, don’t expect him to play on his own – he might need a little bit of encouragement. Try a bunch of different toys that he won’t be able to resist and figure out which one his favourite is.
Make Sure Water is Available:
Much like some humans, cats can often go and eat simply because they are bored and want something to do. Your cat might also end up eating when she is thirsty if the food is available.
To try and break these habits, make sure that fresh water is always freely available for your cat so that she has got something to go and get if she gets bored and peckish. If your cat is averse to drinking water out of a bowl, it might be because she prefers running water.
If she’s always trying to drink when you’re running the tap, this is a sure sign that this is how she prefers it. A cat water fountain can be an ideal investment for your home.
Walk Your Cat
Outdoor and outdoor/indoor cats do tend to be in better shape than indoor cats – although some outdoor cats manage to get multiple meals a day from different ‘owners’ who all have no idea that the others exist.
If you suspect your outdoor cat is getting food elsewhere, it might be worth putting a tag on her collar or a paper collar on her asking that she not be fed.
If you have an indoor cat who spends all his time lounging on sofas, a catio with plenty of climbing posts, or walking on a harness can be a good way to encourage him to get more exercise.
Cats know how to pull at our heartstrings and get us to give them a tasty treat or a little bit extra with their meal.
If you know that your cat is getting enough food for their needs, begging for more food should be ignored – as hard as it may be! Distract your cat by playing with her or giving her attention in another way like petting or cuddling if she likes that.
Make Your Cat Hunt:
Hiding the occasional treat or moving your cat’s food bowl around the house at mealtimes will make him hunt for his food, which can be an exciting experience for many cats, along with being a lot more exercise than simply flopping over to the usual spot where the food is served.
If your cat is doing significantly more exercise for it, a couple of treats should be fine. You can also get lower-fat version cat treats if you want to be extra careful.
It can often be easy for a cat to pile weight on if they spend all their time indoors or have convinced five different neighbours that they haven’t been fed elsewhere. Keep these tips in mind and help your cat live a happier, healthier life at an ideal weight.
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