Wondering how to help your cat lose weight? Afraid the little guy or gal is starting to look like Garfield?
Here we discuss how to help a cat lose weight. Then we discuss why cats need to lose weight and how to keep the pounds off.
How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight
- Make a plan
- Get the figures right
- Treat the cat’s health issues first
- Change your cat’s food
- Add high-value nutrients to your cat’s diet
- Put a play-ball in your cat’s bowl
- Replace high calorie treats by affection
- Take your cat for a walk
- Play with your cat
- Install some climbing props
How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight
There are some basic ways by which you can help your cat to lose weight. Here are the most effective and easy methods.
1. Make a Plan
It’s helpful to know where your cat is at and what the optimal stopping point is. Do you want him or her to lose a pound? Once he or she gets to a certain weight, then what will you do?
Plan out everything from the food for weight loss you’ll give your cat to how you’ll keep your kitty active. And then stick to this plan no matter what.
It’s also wise to send your cat to the vet before you start trying to lose weight. The vet should check your cat for any illnesses or health issues that might affect the diet and then give an OK to your weight loss plan.
Making radical changes in a cat’s diet causes stress on his or her body. It’s therefore essential to get a full assessment of the cat’s status beforehand.
2. Get the Figures Right
Calculate your cat’s daily calorie and nutrition requirements. This is dependent on the cat’s size, age, and weight. This number is one of the most significant figures in the mechanics of weight loss.
Weigh your cat to register its current weight, and ask the vet what’s the target weight for your pet. Try to plan a long-term diet calendar aimed at making your cat drop a pound each month.
The extended plan lets you replace the cat’s food types at a relaxed rate. You can also make incremental additions in the cat’s physical activity patterns.
This maintains your cat’s vitality and bright temperament.
3. Treat the Cat’s Health Issues First
If your cat has any standing health issues, then you need to address these first. Allergies might limit your cat’s diet and force you to pick high-calorie foods. If you can treat that allergy before starting the weight loss plan, that’ll give you more options for a good menu.
Dieting goes hand in hand with exercising. But a cat with arthritis or sore muscles can hardly engage in play or any activity that involves moving.
Skeletal issues should certainly be sorted out before embarking on the dieting journey. This would facilitate the essential workouts later on, not to mention that it would alleviate the cat’s disconcerting pain.
4. Change Your Cat’s Food
Cat’s food is just like human food. Some types are high-calorie varieties and some are more health-conscious.
Look for the high-nutrition low-calorie brands. This change should show positive results in a few weeks. But first, you have to get your cat to like the new food.
The best way to introduce a new food type is to add it incrementally to the cat’s familiar food. This process could take about four weeks for completion. After that, you’ll cat will crave the new healthy variety.
Try to distribute the cat’s meals throughout the day, with fewer calories per feeding. Your cat shouldn’t feel too hungry while dieting. This is important to maintain its metabolic efficiency.
5. Add High-Value Nutrients to Your Cat’s Diet
Adding proteins and essential amino acids to your cat’s diet does two amazing things: it boosts your pet’s energy and curbs its appetite.
It’s also important to supplement your cat’s diet with healthful substances. The decreased calories and fat content might make your cat more lethargic, and that’s clearly counterproductive.
Proteins take care of the inevitable deficit and minimize its effects on your pet. Vitamins and Omega-3 oil are also pretty good additives. They even reflect well on your pet’s fur. Good health has a nice wholesome glow.
That’s actually the whole point from the weight-loss plan. To make your cat more healthy.
6. Put a Play-Ball in Your Cat’s Bowl
Cats sometimes eat too much too quickly. This greedy behavior doesn’t give them sufficient time to realize that they are full.
Altering behavior is hard, but you can put some hurdles to slow down kitty’s food frenzy. Placing a ball inside your pet’s ball limits the availability of the food. The cat needs to push the ball around and maneuver its way to every morsel.
After a few weeks, your cat will get used to the slower rate of eating, and the fewer amounts of food.
7. Replace High-Calorie Treats by Affection
Treats are successful tactics to reinforce positive behavior in pets. They’re often unproblematic, but in the case of obese cats, they can complicate matters more.
Calories have a tendency of adding up. Even though individual treats don’t seem like much, their piling up eventually becomes layers of fat.
Cats respond to care and attention in the same manner that they feel when they get a treat. That’s why you can opt-out of handing your pet treats to reward good behavior.
Play with your cat, give it toy that it really likes, or groom your cat if it’s into that kind of pampering.
Your cat might not be too excited about the sudden disappearance of treats though. Try to make any changes as gradual and subtle as possible.
You can also introduce some diet-treats as an intermediate solution. Cravings are the arch-enemies of proper dieting.
8. Take Your Cat for a Walk
This is more of a dog thing than a cat’s activity, but lately, it’s been gaining popularity. It’s a nice pastime for the pet owners and a good exercise for the cat. Especially overweight ones.
Cats have special types of harness-leash. It’s designed to keep the cat in tow without limiting its movement. Cats are pretty similar to little dogs, and these leashes feel like they’re barely there.
You wouldn’t want your cat to be intimidated, so choose an area with low vehicle traffic, and make sure this is not a dog park. If you take a leisurely walk around streets lined by lush greenery, your cat will probably wish for frequent excursions.
9. Play With Your Cat
Walking your cat is great, but sustained weight loss will need a little more than that. Occasional walks are more significant in entertainment than slimming.
While you’re around the house, try to get your cat to play with you. Yarn is always good. Ribbons and ropes are cats’ longtime favorites. And a laser pen? You can’t go wrong with that one.
Cats get bored and tired easily though. They wouldn’t spend too much time playing, regardless of how exciting the game is. That’s why you need to repeat these activities every now and then.
Your cat might doze off after the high-energy period, and that’s totally fine. After all, catnaps are a world-famous declaration of bliss.
10. Install Some Climbing Props
Cats like climbing and watching the world from an altitude. It gives them a sense of authority and control.
Some cats like to climb up into a bookshelf or on top of a cupboard. These cats are known for their courage and unquenchable curiosity. The other cats might not be as adventurous, so it’s best to install a mini-jungle-gym for them.
If they like the setup, they could spend a lot of their time exploring and climbing.
Why Do Cats Need to Lose the Extra Weight?
Cats are naturally lean and agile creatures. Overweight in cats doesn’t just look unbecoming, it could cause a host of health problems for them.
The extra weight comes from two places: eating unhealthy food and being too lethargic. Both causes are detrimental to the cat’s wellbeing and temperament.
These extra pounds could develop into diabetes, liver disease, cardiac issues, and skeletal problems. The lack of mobility translates into an irritable pet that doesn’t engage in playful activities.
Vets often advise cat owners to get their pets back in good shape.
Back in the day, when all animals had to hunt their dinner, agility was critical for survival, and plump predators were unheard of.
Animals could also go for days on end without any food. This limited the fat content of their bodies considerably. Nowadays, cats get three meals a day plus treats. They don’t even have to run to their food bowl, as it’s probably close by. The food itself has plenty of carbs and sugars.
That’s why cats became overweight and even obese after centuries of being lithe svelte hunters. But you can reverse the situation for your pet. Making some changes in your cat’s diet and daily activities are essential for shedding the extra pounds.
Check with your cat’s vet, and start an appropriate plan. You don’t need to rush things. Quick results might not be sustainable. So let’s aim for a rabbit and turtle strategy. Slow but sure is a wise manner to regain your cat’s good health.