Make Your Cat Happy, Help Him Lose Weight
September is National Happy Cat Month and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the month but to talk about health. Keeping cats healthy is one of the reason the CATalyst Organization started Happy Cat Month to begin with. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, about 54% of cats in the United States are overweight. Extra pounds adds up to a variety of health problems. Some of the health issues that can be attribute to being overweight are: arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and difficulties breathing. You don’t want your kitty suffering from these aliments, do you? Make your cat happy, help him lose weight.
Here are 8 ways that you can help your kitty lose weight.
- Visit the Veterinarian: First step before starting any weight loss program is to take you kitty to the veterinarian. The vet can run tests to determine if the extra weight is due to health problems or just too many treats. They will then be able to give you direction as to how you should start your weight loss cat journey.
- Start Weight Loss Program: Once you have taken your cat to the vet and talked to them you are now ready to start your weight loss plan. Your vet probably recommended to you a special diet food that you should start. This food is likely to be low in fat and calories. You should check your cat’s weight at least once a week. However, you don’t want the weight to come off too quickly. Your cat probably did not get that size overnight therefore, don’t expect him to lose weight quickly either. Make sure your weight loss plan stretches out over a period of months. Give your cat time to lose weight. Remember, losing weight takes more then just cutting back on food. Be sure to regularly exercise your kitty as well.
- Cut Back on Dry Food: Unless, the food is marked “low fat” or “low calories” you have to assume that it is high in calories which means it is fattening. Dry or hard food is also low in the necessary proteins your kitty needs and is high in carbohydrates which your kitty does not need. Try giving your cat either a “low fat”, “low calorie” dry food or change to a canned food that is high in protein. But beware, there are a lot of canned foods out there that are also high in carbohydrates. You will have to study the labels and do your research to find out if there are a lot of carbs contained in the particular food that you are interested in. Cat are carnivorous, so aim for proteins and stay away from carbs.
- End Free Feeding: What is “free feeding”? It means that instead of feeding your cat on a scheduled meal time you always have food out. When your cat’s dish becomes empty, your re-fill it. This is especially the case in multiple cat households. However, by taking this route you can easily lose track of how much your cat is eating because you don’t actually control how much he is eating. By feeding your cat on a “meal time” schedule you control how much they eat therefore, helping them lose weight.
- Cut Back on Treats: Most treats contain a lot of calories and are packed with carbohydrates, along with other unhealthy items such as artificial flavors. If you have to give your kitty a treat try pieces of fish or cooked chicken. Fish and chicken are both full of proteins which is good for your kitty.
- Beware of Portion Suggestions: Watch the cat food labels carefully. Food labels are usually honest when it comes to the contents of the food however, the suggestions for the amount to give are probably off. You should base how much you are going to give your cat by their physical activity and body size. Always consult with your vet regarding the proper feeding amount that will be ideal for your cat.
- Daily Physical Activity: The weight loss diet is never going to work unless there is some movement on your cat’s behalf. Exercise assists in burning off excess calories. You fat cat does not like to play? No problem, focus on interactive toys. These kinds of toys tend to that simulate the hunt for prey game. Remember to keep an eye on you cat while he plays. Watch for signs of rapid breathing or being out of breath. One of the reasons your cat may not like to play by itself is because he wants a playmate. Consider adopting an additional cat for your kitty to play with.
- Give More L-Caratine: This element is an amino acid. What this amino acid does is help the liver to change glucose. L-Caratine can be very helpful in assisting fat cats to lose that weight. Meat is a good place to find this amino acid. This is why it is vital for your carnivorous eating kitty to stick with a protein diet. Talk to your vet about supplements that contain L-Caratine.