Not all fat cats are bankers!
Weight gain in cats
It is estimated that just under a third of family cats are overweight. A cat is classified as obese if it’s body weight is greater than 20% of it’s ideal weight. Like us, cats can gradually gain weight, making it difficult for their owner to notice any increase. It is usually only when the cat is taken to the vet that this is picked up.
Factors associated with weight gain
There are a number of factors which are often associated with weight gain, including:
Breed – The moggy is most at risk, compared to pedigree breeds.
Age – Older cats are most at risk, with most weight gain occurring between 10 to 13 years of age.
Neutering – Neutering increases the risk of obesity, especially in male cats.
Activity – This is the biggest cause of obesity, as many cats are now indoor most of the time, and spend the majority of their time sleeping, grooming and eating, getting little or no exercise.
Food – Many owners believe cats regulate their own food intake, whereas this is not always the case. Guilt can also make owners ‘top up’ empty food bowls, rather than stick to the daily feeding ration.
It is possible to assess your cat’s body size by using a Body Conditioning Score Guide. If you believe your cat has a BCS of 4 or 5, then you must take action to reduce their weight. This can be achieved by reducing the calorie intake by feeding CLINIVET Light Cat food, and by increasing their activity levels.
Increase activity, watch the calories
Like us, to reduce your cat’s weight, you simply need to encourage activity and feed less. Inactivity is the biggest cause of feline obesity, therefore owners should try and encourage their cat to be as active as possible. If it safe to do so, allow them access to the outside where they can have the freedom to explore and express natural instinctive behaviours. Of course, toys can also be used, and a selection of different ones helps to keep it interesting for your cat.
If feeding dry food, consider a feed ball where the daily ration is released as the cat plays with the toy. This positive reinforcement encourages activity for a reward, and is more motivating than just play.
Feed a balanced diet
To combat obesity, it is important to monitor your cat’s feed intake, as well as to feed a diet specially formulated for overweight cats. With a lower fat content than CLINIVET Adult Cat, CLINIVET Light Cat is the perfect diet food for the overweight cat. By feeding a diet food, your cat will still eat the same quantity of pet food (although will consume less calories) and yet not feel hungry immediately after mealtimes. Rich in chicken, CLINIVET Light Cat is highly digestible and palatable, making it the perfect diet food for even the fussiest of cats. Each kibble is coated in fish and chicken flavours to maximise palatability.
Health implications of obesity
Obesity in cats plays an important role in the development of several diseases such as:
- fatty liver (hepatic lipidosis)
- skin problems – fat cats cannot groom themselves properly, so their hair can become severely matted, which can cause discomfort and skin infections
- heart problems.
Owners of overweight cats often dispair when they are advised to put their cats on a weight loss diet, as cats will hunt down food from neighbours, or by hunting and killing prey. If at all possible, try and avoid the situation developing, and allow your cat outside and the freedom to explore. It can only help them to lead a long and healthy life.
CLINIVET is a petfood company, based in Northern Ireland, supplying super premium petfood to the retail and veterinary market. Our dogfood and catfood contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and is formulated without wheat gluten, beef, lamb, dairy or soya products. Have you tried CLINIVET petfood for dogs and food for cats yet?
CLINIVET sells our own brand of pet supplies from our online pet shop. We offer a home delivery service on all pet supplies and pet food products. Please visit our Buy Online section for more information.
For further enquiries, please contact CLINIVET.