Many older cats, or those who stay indoors, often face the problem of gaining too much weight. Our veterinarians in Denver list signs that your cat may be overweight and what steps you can take.
How can I tell if my cat is overweight?
You can confirm whether your cat is overweight by bringing them to the vet for an exam. The veterinarian can also provide a specific diagnosis and provide guidance for weight management.
That said, you can also do a quick check at home. If you feel your cat's rib cage, the padding on healthy cats will be about as thick as that on the back of your hand. If you cannot feel your cat's ribs or can only feel them when pressing firmly, then your furry friend may be obese or overweight.
We can also look at your cat from above while they stand. There should be a slight waistline, although it can be hard to see long-haired cats. If the waist area bulges out instead, your cat may be overweight.
How can I help my cat lose weight?
If your vet says your cat is too heavy, they'll give you the plan to help your cat get healthier. You can do these things to help your cat slim down:
Cats don't need a lot of exercise in order to stay healthy, but the right amount depends on their age and breed. In general, try to play with your cat for two short sessions each day, about 15 minutes each. This can include games like chasing toys.
You may also consider investing in an indoor cat tree to provide extra opportunities to jump and climb.
Diet & Feeding
You can assist your overweight pet in shedding pounds by switching to healthy weight-control cat food. If your cat is extremely obsessed, your vet might suggest a special weight-loss diet. Always transition gradually to get her used to a new kind of cat food.
Bring your cat to the vet to be weighed on a regular basis. This will let the vet know if further dietary adjustments or testing are needed.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.