Have you seen an overly fat cat lately? Maybe your cat itself can compete in the heavyweight division. According to veterinarians, the alarming increase in feline obesity today is among the number one problems in pet cats. You should care because feline obesity is the start of all sorts of health problems in cats. The result can be fatal.See also:
Extent of the Problem
In the United States, 25% of pet cats are obese and 5-10% of the remaining number is slightly overweight. Complications from feline obesity have become a daily diagnosis in veterinary hospitals across the country, which is sounding the alarm bells among veterinarians. Feline obesity is cutting short the life expectancy of pet cats fast.
How to Tell If a Cat Is Obese
If you haven’t given a thought about your pet cat’s weight, it’s high time that you do. Catching early signs of feline obesity is the first step to claiming back your cat’s health. The effects of feline obesity are reversible if the problem is caught early on.
A simple test is to check if you can readily feel the ribs and the backbone of your cat. If you can’t feel the ribs and the backbone without applying some pressure, it can be a sign of obesity. Also, a fit cat have a noticeable waist starting at the rib cage base down to its hip when looking at the cat from above. When looking at it on the side, your cat should a visible tuck starting at the rib cage base into its inner thighs. If your cat fails these tests, then it could be obese. You have to palpate the waist and the tuck in hairy cats, though.
Causes of Feline Obesity
In the wild, cats eat mainly meat from a kill. In your home, however, your cat eats high carbohydrate foods like biscuits, cookies, bread, etc. And even most formulated cat food themselves are high in carbohydrates. Wrong diet is the main cause of feline obesity today followed by a cat’s sedentary lifestyle. Cats these days would rather watch Tom chase Jerry on TV than catching one under the couch. Neutered or spayed cats and those suffering from thyroid problems are likely to develop obesity too.
Complications from Feline Obesity
Complications from feline obesity are one of the leading causes of death or disability among pet cats. Obese cats are twice more likely to die in middle age than their fit cousins. They are 4.5 times more likely to develop diabetes mellitus and 3 times more likely to develop non-allergic skin conditions. Feline obesity can expose your pet to lameness due to arthritis and joint and muscle pains. Aside from these, fat cats will develop heart and liver diseases sooner rather than later.
Weight Loss for Cats
You don’t want your cats to suffer from feline obesity. Luckily there are ways you can prevent feline obesity to creep up and plague your beloved pet. Granted it takes dedication on your part; your cat doesn’t know what’s good for itself. You do. But, there are good cat weight loss program you can follow to reclaim your cat’s health and reverse the effects of obesity to it. If you have other family members at home, make your cat’s weight loss program a whole family affair. Everyone should be aware that giving snacks to your cat is prohibited, for example.
Taking the First Step
The first step to getting your obese cat back into shape is to visit its vet. A veterinarian can suggest a good weight loss program you can follow for your cat. After running some test to rule out natural causes of feline obesity, a veterinarian can suggest a good cat diet that may work well in keeping your cat’s weight checked. So don’t delay consulting a vet today.