Did you know that obesity is extremely common among our feline pals? Over half of pet cats are overweight. Fluffy may look adorable if she’s a bit round, but those extra pounds are very bad for her, increasing her risk of heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and many other health issues. A Las Vegas, NV vet offers some insight on how to keep your furry buddy at or near her ideal weight in this article.
If Fluffy has short fur, you can probably get a rough idea of whether she’s ‘chonky’ or not just by looking at her. This gets trickier with longhaired kitties, though. Some cats, such as Maine Coons, also tend to naturally grow quite large. Your vet should be the ultimate judge here, but for a quick home evaluation, try the rib test. Feel (or try to feel) your cat’s ribs. Ideally, you should be able feel them under a thin layer of muscle and fat. If they’re sticking out, your kitty may need to gain weight. If you can’t feel them at all, well, you may have a furry little butterball on your hands.
Portion sizes are a crucial part of ensuring that your kitty is getting the right amount of food. Even overfeeding Fluffy by just ten calories a day translates into an extra pound a year. That’s a lot for a cat! Ask your vet for specific advice.
Many of our feline patients have their humans wrapped around their paws. If your kitty goes into meltdown mode every time she spots the bottom of her food bowl, you may need to steel yourself. That meow could be a lie!
Just like people, cats sometimes snack out of boredom. (We know, boredom may seem like more of a life goal than a problem for some kitties, but that’s another topic.) Fluffy needs entertainment and stimulation when she’s awake. You don’t necessarily have to go all-out and install catwalks in every room, but you can—and should—provide your feline buddy with a safe, comfy window view, lots of toys, and a few pieces of pet furniture to climb and explore. It’s also important to take time to play with your furry friend every day. Cats can burn a lot of calories in just a few minutes of running, jumping, and pouncing!
As your Las Vegas, NV pet hospital, we are dedicated to providing top-notch care. Please reach out to us anytime!