Cats are adorable pets who with their random act of cuteness force you into pampering them with treats. However, now it is becoming more and more evident that fat cats are not actually healthy cats. Pampering your cats with treats is a positive reinforcement methodology to improve their behavior but overdoing it poses health dangers.
You might be seeing it as a kindness to feed your obese cat but you are killing her with kindness. The frequency of feeding is not the only factor for obesity in cats but the quality of food is equally important. Nowadays, even the most highly-touted commercial cat foods have poor nutritional value. Then, how exactly can you fix obesity in your fluffy pet?
The answer lies in knowing the cause of feline obesity.
Causes of Obesity in Cats
Feline obesity can be caused by a number of reasons and often it is a combination of more than one reason.
The single most common reason that adversely affects feline health is high-carbohydrate dry food that is high in rich calories but is short in meat protein. Cats need muscle meat proteins for healthy muscle growth such as fish, turkey, chicken, rabbit, etc. Experts agree that cats are quintessential Atkins species that implies high-carbonate diet is not only irrational and unhealthy for them but also deadly.
You need to keep a check on these factors:
1. Not to Free-Feed Dry Food
Free-feeding is a common practice in households with dual income parents. As they are often not home to feed the cats, they choose free-fall dry food feeders. Ideally, your cat needs to be fed 3-4 times a day with high quality canned food or freeze-dried food.
Fortunately, for such pet owners, there are portion-controlled feeders made available. If you have breeds like Persian kittens, then you must get such feeders as Persians need to have a strict portioned diet.
2. Insufficient Exercise
Cat caregivers agree to the fact that obesity among cats who have free access to outdoors is minimal. Climbing on trees, chasing around and jumping over the fence provide plenty of exercises. It might not be safer for city cats to be allowed run aloof as a solution for their weight problems.
Instead, supplies like climbing towers, interactive toys and scratching posts can be helpful in keeping their weight in check. There are other safer outdoor alternatives too like walking your cat on a leash or building an outdoor enclosure.
3. Hypothyroidism in Cats
Rare but still a cause, hypothyroidism can cause cats to become overweight. Fortunately, with thyroxine supplementation, such obesity can be turned around quickly.
What Diseases Develop in Obese Cats?
Just as in humans, obesity in cats in itself is less of a concern but the serious diseases that it predisposes felines is the actual threat.
Overweight cats are at high risks of developing Arthritis, diabetes and Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver Disease). These diseases not only reduce the quality of life for felines but also reduce their life expectancy. Other than these there are several other health conditions that are linked to morbid obesity in a cat.
As a cat parent, it is your responsibility to deeply consider what we have shared with you and take the necessary steps to turn your cat into a svelte, active feline.