What To Do About That Fat Cat

By: Pam Wiese Email
By: Pam Wiese Email

Humans aren't the only ones who can find comfort in food. What do you do when your feline friend hits the Meow Mix a bit too hard?

Is your cat getting bigger and bigger? Are you wondering if he or she needs to slim down? Breed, frame, height and length are all factors in determining a cat's appropriate weight.

Among the warning signs is a low slung belly, which develops on both male and female cats. If your cat is well groomed close to the head but doesn't groom down the body, that's also a sign of being too big to reach.

Excess weight can lead to other problems like diabetes and heart disease and arthritis can begin at an earlier age. If your cat is overweight, then consult your vet.

Just cutting a cat off from food can shut down their kidneys and create even more health problems, so they need to keep eating, just consume less. Your vet can determine if there is a health reason your cat is putting on pounds and can also calculate the best amount and type of food to slim down safely.

Getting a cat to exercise is easier said than done, but if you want to stimulate their metabolism, try a laser light. A laser toy or a hand-held, dangling toy to chase might do the trick. If a cat is only motivated by food, try making them work for it by putting a little food on several dishes. If he or she wants to eat they’ll have to move around to do so. Or use a Kibble ball that dispenses food when they play.

The key element you need is patience. Losing three pounds off an 18-pound frame is 1/6 of body weight, like a 140-pound person losing 23 pounds. Take it slow and steady and consult your vet. Your cat will be healthier and it might just help your back as well.

The Nebraska Humane Society at 8929 Fort Street in Omaha is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can always look up animals and find information at nehumanesociety.org.

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