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Managing your cat’s weight

Control and prevent weight gain and obesity with specialized food

Keeping your cat at their optimal weight is important: It can prevent health problems, improve their quality of life, and even extend their life span. But what causes weight gain and how do you get it under control? All you need is a little patience, some veterinary advice, and a proper feline diet, which probably includes special food.

Read on for tips from your Globalvet team on managing your cat’s weight.

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Learn to recognize and fight weight gain in your cat

You may be surprised to hear that more than half of all cats are overweight or obese—as much as 60% according to a U.S. study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Read the 2018 Pet Obesity Survey Results to find out more.

With so many fat cats out there, a little extra weight on yours might look normal. If your cat is at a good weight and you compare them to most cats (who are on the hefty side), you may think yours is too skinny when it’s not. You might even subconsciously try to help them put on pounds!

Be aware that a cat is considered overweight at 10% to 20% more than their ideal weight. Beyond 20% and they’re tipping the scales into obesity. That means that if your cat’s ideal weight is 10 lb (4.5 kg), they’re obese if they weigh more than 12 lb (5.5 kg).

You have to figure out your cat’s ideal weight to know for sure. What’s your cat’s ideal weight? Talk to your veterinarian. They can tell you based on your cat’s body condition score. Learn more with this body condition score chart.

Choosing a specialized weight loss food: Benefits and tips

Reduce the risk of obesity-related illness

Studies have shown that being overweight or obese can cause illnesses in cats or make them more prone to certain health problems, including:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Lameness
  • Anesthetic and surgical complications
  • Skin conditions
  • Urinary problems, including feline idiopathic cystitis
  • Hepatic lipidosis
  • Immunosuppression
  • Exercise intolerance

Specialized food can help your cat reach and maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of other ailments.

Help your cat lose weight safely

Shrinking kitty’s serving sizes to help them slim down? To avoid dietary deficiencies, make sure their system is still getting everything it needs. You want your cat to consume fewer calories, but still get enough proteins and nutrients to stay strong and healthy.

So what’s a pet owner to do? Ask your veterinarian to recommend a food designed for safe weight loss. These nutrient-dense formulas can help you cut your cat’s calorie intake without depriving them of essential nutrients.

Light food may not be a good choice for overweight cats. These formulas are okay for maintenance and avoiding weight gain, but not recommended for weight loss.

Choose satisfying food to reduce begging behaviour

Cutting your cat’s portions may send them begging for more. But don’t give in! Our advice? Choose a vet-approved food specifically designed for weight loss.

Why? Because these foods contain a combination of different types of fibre to create volume and keep things moving through the GI tract. If your cat feels full and satisfied, it will keep the begging at bay. Wouldn’t that be nice?!

Another tip to reduce calorie density and increase volume is to add water to your cat’s food. Canned food solves this problem because it’s already high in water. Ask your vet for recommendations on wet food and kibble for your calorie-conscious kitty.

Rely on your veterinary team

House cats are prone to weight gain and obesity because of their lifestyle, e.g.,:

  • Being cooped up inside
  • Free feeding and not having to hunt for their food
  • A lack of stimulation in their environment

That’s why it can be hard to get your four-legged friend to shed those extra pounds. Remember you can always get advice from the pros. Your Globalvet team is there for you! Bring kitty in for a consult. We can offer advice on:

  • Feeding strategies to stimulate your cat and bring out their killer instinct
  • How to incorporate canned food, treats, and those little extras without compromising your weight loss goals
  • Ways to enhance your cat’s surroundings and banish boredom

Besides offering tips and advice, your vet can monitor your cat’s weight loss. They can make sure things are on track and make tweaks to the weight loss plan. How do you tell if the diet is working? You want to see 1% to 2% weight loss every week. That’s about ½ lb to 1 lb per month for an average-sized cat.

What if your fur baby is losing weight too slowly or too quickly?

  • Losing weight too quickly could be dangerous to your cat’s health
  • Too slowly and it could make you less motivated to keep up the new regimen

Find a specialized weight management food among our many brands

Every Globalvet clinic store carries multiple types of specialized foods to help you manage your cat’s weight. Find the one that’s right for your fur baby in store or online.

Need advice on pet food?

Contact your local clinic or visit our online store.


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