A Mew Year’s Resolution: Your Cat’s Guide to a Slimmer 2019

A Mew Year’s Resolution: Your Cat’s Guide to a Slimmer 2019


Did Dr. Doe gently suggest a weight loss regimen at your cat’s last checkup? A 2014 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention research study found that 58% of U.S. cats are overweight. Although it may be difficult to hear, finding out your pet is overweight is the first step in improving his lifestyle.

Being overweight carries risks for your cat. Overweight or obese cats are four and a half times more likely to develop diabetes than their optimal weight counterparts and may experience arthritis at an earlier age. They may also have trouble grooming themselves appropriately, leading to a dull coat, dander, and a less than clean rear end. Ultimately, obese cats are two times as likely to die in middle age, between six and twelve years.

Helping your cat achieve and maintain a healthy weight is important to his overall health and well-being. There are many steps you can take to help your cat lose weight, and many of them echo what human physicians recommend for their patients.

Eat Right

Have a discussion with your veterinarian about your cat’s diet; it may need an upgrade. Canned food, especially diets designed for weight loss and a healthy metabolism, may help your pet shed some unwanted insulation.

Canned food has a higher water and protein content and a lower carbohydrate content than a dry diet, which may help facilitate weight loss. It also encourages pet parents to feed at specific mealtimes, allowing them to monitor and better control their cat’s caloric intake. Free feeding, though convenient, can promote overeating.

Human food may also be taking a toll on your cat’s waistline. Many of the foods we enjoy, and may or may not share with our feline companions, are calorie rich. Minimizing or eliminating human food from your cat’s diet may help them achieve their weight loss goals.

If you have concerns about your cat’s diet, make an appointment to discuss it with a veterinarian. They will be more than happy to advise you on a diet that meets both you and your pet’s needs. You can email us at nobhillcatclinic@gmail.com, or give us a call to schedule at 415-776-6122.

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Exercise

Cats spend a lot of their day grooming and sleeping. Unfortunately, many of them don’t get the exercise they need to stay fit and trim. Age or mobility limiting factors may encourage your cat to remain sedentary.

Finding ways to motivate your less than motivated cat to move around a bit is the best way to help them get their daily steps in. Try finding toys or activities that your cat genuinely enjoys. Laser pointers or cat wands may encourage active play, as they help your pet tap into their predatory instincts. Catnip can also facilitate play in certain cats.

Does your cat not seem particularly interested in toys? There are little changes you can make to add activity into their day. Feeding your pet in a different area of the house than they usually lounge in or adding cat trees to your home can help your pet get moving. A little movement can make a big difference in their energy level and overall health.

Weight loss should never be sudden or severe, and a sudden drop may indicate or exacerbate underlying health issues. Every cat is unique and deserves a diet and exercise plan to match. Make an appointment to discuss weight concerns with the staff at Nob Hill Cat Clinic. We also offer a variety of diets that are designed for obese or overweight cats. While you’re at it, you may want to schedule a sanitary shave to help your feline friend stay clean until they meet their weight loss goal!

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-Kaitlin Murphy