Being overweight isn't healthy for anyone, including your cat. However, if your kitty is overweight and your first reaction is to limit the amount of food they can eat, it's not the best idea. Putting a cat on a diet isn't the safest method for helping them to lose weight. Read on to discover why your cat should lose weight and how you should get it done.
Danger of Low-Calorie Diet
If your cat eats more than it should on a daily basis, cutting their calories suddenly can be dangerous. Cats can experience a condition called fatty liver disease that happens when they experience a period of starvation or limited caloric intake.
This condition can leave your kitty feeling very ill, or at worst, it can be life-threatening. In short, cats' bodies aren't as good at converting stored fat into a usable fuel like humans are. Their livers become overwhelmed with the amount of fat it has to break down from the body's storage, and it can cause fatty liver disease as a result. Therefore, simply reducing the amount your cat eats isn't a great idea.
Weight Loss is a Must
Letting your cat be overweight isn't a good idea, especially in the long-term. Cats who are allowed to be overweight or obese experience higher levels of disease and inflammation, just like humans. Your cat could be susceptible to joint damage, arthritis, heart disease, or a myriad of other conditions. If you're not sure if your cat qualifies as overweight or obese, talk to your veterinarian. The difference between a healthy weight and being overweight is often only a difference of a pound or even a few ounces.
If you can't limit your cat's food intake and you can't let it be overweight, what are your options? First and foremost, try to stimulate your cat to have more daily activity in its daily life. If your cat doesn't get much playtime, take a few minutes out of your busy day to play with them. Provide your cat with opportunities to climb and run around on its own, too, by providing tools like a scratching post or a cat running wheel.
You should also consider visiting your veterinarian if you're certain your cat is overweight. They will be able to assess your cat's health and determine if they have any underlying health conditions that have developed as a result of the excess weight, and they can help you to safely reduce your kitty's weight.
Being overweight can cause serious problems for your cat's health, especially over a long period of time. Remember to visit your vet regularly to help your kitty to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight.