Everybody loves a big, cuddly cat, but that can be detrimental to your cat’s health. An overweight cat has a higher chance of having various medical conditions including arthritis, cardiac disease, diabetes, kidney disease, liver malfunction, and shortened life expectancy. This is why it is important to have your veterinarian determine if your cat is at a healthy weight.
Is my cat fat?
Just like every other species, the number on the scale is not the best indicator of health. Veterinary medicine uses a scale from 1-9 or 1-5, depending on the company, to determine the body condition of a patient. 1 is very underweight, whereas 9 is very obese. An ideal body condition looks like this: you should be able to still feel the ribs with a small amount of fat covering them. When petting, there should be a visible waist (narrowing) behind the ribs, there should be no fat accumulating at the base of the tail, the scruff should feel loose and not filled with fat. These are just some guidelines to help determine if your pet may be over or underweight and can be found online.
How can my cat lose weight?
Weight loss in cats can be more difficult than that in dogs, but it can be done! Cutting back on the amount of food fed to your cat should only be done at the discretion of a veterinarian, otherwise, your cat may not be getting enough nutrients. There are veterinary diets and treats that are aimed to help pets lose weight, while still getting all required nutrients. Avoiding treats and human food can help to cut back on calories, without cutting out any nutrients. Keeping cats active tends to be the hardest part about losing weight, as they tend to do what they want. Laser pointers and toys can be used to play with your cat to help get them moving. Buying a cat-sized treat ball and filling it with their portion of food is a great way to have your cat work for its food.
What is offered in a nutritional consultation?
During your cat’s yearly physical exam, your veterinarian will examine them from nose to tail and assess whether they are at a healthy weight. We will help you determine your cats daily caloric requirements and any further veterinarian recommendations.