5 Problems with Overweight Cats
- Overweight cats are seven times more likely to require veterinary care for joint diseases such as arthritis or muscle injuries.
- Overweight cats are four and a half times more likely to develop diabetes, compared to normal weight cats.
- Obese cats are three times more likely to suffer lameness
- Heavy cats are three times more likely to visit a veterinarian for non-allergic skin conditions. Do you think because they can’t reach the entire body?
- Overweight cats are twice as likely to die in middle age, and for cats that can be as young as 6 years of age.
Cat obesity, overweight cats, is generally considered to be when a cat is 20 percent or more above normal weight. Overweight cats are the most watched health issue among domestic felines.
Obesity in cats will certainly hinder a cat’s normal desire for physical activity and restrict its quality of life. An overweight cat can have serious health problems including, arthritis, hip dysplasia, diabetes, and heart problems.
Some estimates in the United States can place over 50% of the cats seen by veterinarians as overweight. Many people in today’s households practice what is known as “free feeding” where a bowl of dry food is always available for the cat to eat. This allows the cat to consume food all throughout the day, which can lead to overeating, hence overweight cats.
Although it is more convenient for owners to practice “free feeding”, cats just as humans should have a regular meal time and canned wet food is much better for your cat. Not only does quality canned food have more protein for your cat, but it also has less carbohydrates. Canned food also has a significant amount of water which also increases their fluid intake and cat owners should be in control of when their cat eats, not the cat. Cat’s just as humans are made of mostly water and require lots of water to survive. Dry cat food does not replenish this water intake and therefore requires much more water in a bowl to be available. Need information on cat food tips.
Do you have an overweight cat?
Cat Body Assessment
Take this assessment and determine if your cat is overweight.
The scores are based on a value of 1-10 with the following scoring:
- 1 severe underweight
- 2 – 4 underweight
- 5 – 6 ideal weight
- 7 – 8 overweight
- 9 and above grossly obese.
If your cat is overweight remember that a gradual weight loss plan is required for the health and safety of your cat. It is better if a veterinarian is in charge of the weight loss and offers guidance. Cats should only lose about 1 -2 percent of the body weight each week. This can amount to only an ounce or so per week. Any attempt to speed the weight loss may cause the cat serious health problems.
Check out the ASPCA article on overweight cats. It has lots of good information here also.
Tell us about your cat and if he is overweight. What have you done to reduce his weight? Do you have pictures?
Did you know you could get Prescription Cat Food?