We can express our love for our four legged babies in many ways, but the trend among us pet owners seem to be with food and treats. The more snacks we give, the happier we feel they are. Unfortunately this act of love may not be the healthiest or safest thing for our pets!
Keeping our cats (and dogs) healthy and in good shape is key; the best way of showing our love is to make sure our furry friends live long healthy lives.
Here are 7 tips for weight loss and keeping your cat in great health:
- Visit your Veterinarian for a thorough physical exam annually to eliminate any underlying medical condition causing weight issues.
- Provide a well-balanced diet for weight loss and/or maintenance for the appropriate life stage and/or condition of your kitty. Talk to your veterinarian about suitable diets for your kitty.
- Limit treats for your furry friend
- Feed only the recommended amount
- Meal feed two to four small meals per day to control the amount fed to each cat, and make sure someone is not doing “clean up” of any leftover kibble!
- Encourage additional exercise to your cat’s daily routine. Enrich your cats’ environment!
- New and/or interactive toys
- Laser pointers
- Agility/Activity training for food
- Use mealtime for exercise
- Hide kibbles around the house (hide and snack)
- Throw each kibble (cardio with snacks)
- Feeding toys/puzzle balls to slow eating and provide exercise at the same time
- Reweigh the cat every three to four weeks to assess progress, and body condition score as well:
- Keep track of weight loss/gain
- Monitor muscle gain, as this can cause an increase in overall weight even if fat is being lost
- Reconsider your cats’ daily amount fed if weight gain or muscle mass loss is noted.
- Once the cat is at an ideal weight, adjust the total amount fed so that the cats’ body weight remains stable (maintenance amount for your kitty)
- BONUS! Slow and steady is best. Slow weight loss is healthier for cats.
Douglas is a domestic long hair orange boy, about five years old. He started his weight loss program weighing in at 30 lbs. After a year and a half of strict diet, daily exercise and a few bumps along the way, Douglas now weighs in at 19lbs and counting down. Keep up the good work Doug!
Written by: Moncton Animal Clinic