Obesity in Cats

Is your feline friend looking a bit round lately? If so, you may very well have an obese kitty on your hands. While we won’t deny that chubby cats can look cute, the truth of the matter is that those extra pounds are very bad for your pet’s health. Below, an Isle of Palms, SC vet discusses feline obesity.

Risks of Obesity

Obesity can cause many of the same health problems in cats as it does with people. Felines are at much greater risk of developing serious medical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and liver trouble, if they are overweight. Obese cats are also more likely to suffer complications from surgery or anesthesia. As if that weren’t enough, those extra pounds can also lead to skin and coat problems, increase your cat’s risk of cancer, and even decrease her lifespan!

Causes of Obesity

Just like people, felines generally gain weight when they consume more calories than they need. While occasionally a medical issue may cause a cat to gain weight, more often overeating, combined with a lack of exercise and a fondness for napping, is the culprit.

Preventing Obesity

If you know or suspect that your cat is overweight, ask your vet for nutritional advice. Be sure to stick to recommended portion sizes. Just eating an extra ten calories a day can cause your kitty to gain a pound a year! Since many kibble formulas are high in carbohydrates, kitties that only eat dry food may gain weight more quickly than those who get canned food. Ask your vet for recommendations, and choose the highest-quality pet food you can. Exercise is also important. While you may not have much luck getting Fluffy to run laps around the kitchen, you can get her moving by engaging her in daily play sessions. Use interactive toys, like laser pointers or string toys, to stimulate your cat’s built-in hunting instincts and really get her moving.

Treating Obesity

Just like people, kitties need to lose weight slowly and steadily in order to remain healthy. If your cat is overweight, work with your vet to establish a good weight loss plan. Never put a cat on a crash diet, as this is very bad for your cat’s metabolism, and can make her very sick.

Is your kitty overweight or obese? Contact us, your Isle of Palms, SC vet clinic, for nutritional counseling!