Cats live with their humans on a full-board basis. Poor diet and too little exercise often lead to obesity. Indoor cats are, particularly at risk. Read how you can tell if your cat is overweight and what you can do about it.
At least every third cat in Germany is overweight
The reason is usually too much or too high-calorie food with too little physical activity. In rare cases, the cause of obesity is a metabolic disorder or medication. Castration or sterilization also reduces the cat’s energy requirements and requires less food.
The consequences of obesity can be diabetes, cardiovascular diseases with shortness of breath, or damage to the liver and kidneys. Joint problems such as arthrosis and diseases of the urinary bladder also occur. Being overweight also makes your cat’s everyday life more difficult: When cleaning, it can no longer reach certain parts of its body and becomes unclean.
It is essential to avoid obesity in kittens and young cats. The number of fat cells in the body is already determined in puppyhood, later these cells only increase in size. An adult domestic cat weighs between three and five kilograms depending on sex, breed, size, and age. A healthy cat will have a light layer of fat on the abdomen, chest, and ribs. Her waist is clearly visible but not sunken.
In this video, we present you the top 5 fattening cats – and show you what you can do to ensure that your velvet paw goes through life as carefree and healthy as possible. Not only too much food but also the wrong food can lead to obesity in cats. Sometimes, however, other culprits such as illness, age, castration, or lack of exercise are also responsible for your cat’s hip gold.
This is how the cat diet works
Before you put your cat on a diet, clarify with the vet that obesity has no organic cause. Important: Never prescribe your cat a zero diet. Body fat is then drained into the liver, which can lead to organ failure.
At the beginning of the diet, encourage your cat to exercise more. House tigers, in particular, should play and romp for two hours a day. Cats are naturally playful. Creative activities are fun for them and also help them lose weight:
How to motivate your cat to exercise more
- a crackling mouse or a ball awaken the hunting instinct
- a catfishing rod promotes the play instinct
- a climbing tree requires skill
- give your cat a chance to earn her food by digging it out of different containers.
- You can find more tips on how to keep indoor cats busy in the video here.
The cat diet
Slowly reduce the amount of food. Because the cat reduces its energy needs when it is fed less food, it should have ample opportunity to burn off excess energy.
Underweight in cats
A narrow silhouette is normal only in slim breeds such as Siamese and Orientals. Otherwise, the following applies: If you can feel the ribs even with slight pressure or if the pelvic bones protrude, you should definitely consult a veterinarian to rule out parasite infestation or kidney disease.