Feline Obesity Reaches Epidemic Levels: Prevent Your Cat from Becoming a Statistic
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention latest statistics show that 58% percent of America’s cats are overweight or obese, and that less than 12% of cat guardians realize that their tubby felines have a weight problem.
These numbers mirrors the equally disturbing increase of obesity in humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one third of the adult population in the United States is obese. The serious health problems resulting from obesity are the same in cats as they are in humans:
- Arthritis, joint problems and and torn or strained ligaments
- Heart and respiratory problems
- Gastro-intestinal and digestive problems
- Compromised immune system
- Increased risk during anesthesia and surgery
It is up to cat guardians to keep their cats slim and healthy, and to help those with a few extra pounds shed their dangerous padding.
Don’t leave food out at all times
Free choice feeding is one of the leading contributors to weight gain in cats. Feeding two or three meals a day, and feeding “normal” portions can go a long way toward helping your kitty loose and maintain their weight. A normal size portion for a cat is about equal to the size of a mouse. When it comes to portion size, don’t follow manufacturer directions– they’re usually much higher than what your cat really needs.
Feed a meat-based, moist diet
Cats are obligate carnivores who need meat in their diet to thrive. Feed a premium raw or canned diet high in protein (meat) and free of grains (carbs). Be wary of diets marketed as weight-loss diets. Most are too high in carbohydrates, and contain by-products and fillers.
Eliminate dry food from your cat’s diet
Dry food is the leading cause behind most cats urinary tract problems. While cats who eat only dry food will most likely drink more water, they still don’t get enough liquid to support all their bodily functions and essentially live in a constant state of dehydration, which ultimately can lead to bladder and kidney problems.
Limit or, ideally, eliminate treats.
Some people don’t recommend treats but if you absolutely must feed treats, look for grain-free treats that are high in protein, such as freeze dried chicken or other meats, and give only a few.
Play with your cat
Cat Play is vitally important to a cat’s mental and physical health, and it’s especially important for indoor cats. Even though cats may sleep up to 16 hours a day, when they’re awake, they need stimulation, and the best way to accomplish this is with play. In the wild, when lions, tigers and other wild cats aren’t sleeping, they’re either hunting, or teaching their young to hunt.
Interactive, fishing pole type toys are the best way to engage your domestic tiger’s hunting instinct and get kitty moving. It’s also a wonderful way for you and your cat to bond. Establish a routine of regular play session, 10-15 minutes, at least twice a day. Really get your cat tired out during those sessions.
Keeping your cat from becoming overweight is one of the best things you can do to ensure a happy, healthy life for her.
©NekoChan 2014. All Rights Reserved. Written By Ingrid King