Getting Your Cat in Shape
Overweight kitties are one of the most often cases veterinarians see because it is very easy to accidentally over feed your feline companion. When my friend Denise adopted her cat Charlie, she had problems with Charlie’s weight. Since Charlie had been starved when he was little he overate even though he had plenty of food. Denise tried these tips to help Charlie loose weight and they worked like a charm!
For a long time, obesity in cats has been an issue. There haven’t been any concrete studies on the number of flabby tabbies as opposed to healthy feline; however, it is estimated that 10 to 30 percent of cats that veterinarians see are obese. There are many diseases overweight cats can get, such as: arthritis, diabetes mellitus, and fatty liver syndrome.
Humans and cats gain weight the same way, but they also lose weight the same way; through dieting and exercise. Getting your cat to move around is critical. You can’t exactly take your cat to the local gym, but you can find some fun ways to exercise your cat. Also, with less time on your cats paws, they will be less inclined to exhibit bad behaviors like shredding the drapes.
How to Get Your Cat to Exercise
Cats have a limited attention span, so instead of a twenty minute jog you want your cat to do a two minute sprint (chasing a toy no doubt). Two to five minutes a few times a day will be enough for your cat. Your cat will probably be the most interested in doing their exercise at night, since cats are nocturnal. It is best to slowly introduce your cat to more and more exercise, trying to make them do to much at one time is a recipe for a kitty cat injury.
The quickest way to get a cat interested in exercise is to appeal to their instincts. Cats are natural hunters, so make them stalk something. A wind up mouse toy, a laser pointer, crinkle toys, electronic toys, and even treat balls that your cat has to roll around, all are good options to help your cat exercise. If your cat likes water, put some water in a bath tub and throw in a ping pong ball.
Grab a laser pointer and make your cat go crazy all over the house, climb the cat tree, do circles around the island in the kitchen. For more fun, get a laser pointer that can do different shapes, like butterflies, just be careful never to shine it in your cats eyes.
Some other great toys are feather wands and fishing poles. Most cats will go crazy over the catnip-filled lure attached to the end of your string. Make your cat go up and down the stairs or down the hall and back.
Cats love to climb, get them a big cat tree that they can go up and down. Install a birdhouse close to a window to make your cat jump on a windowsill.
If your cat finds toys lackluster, then the next option is to use their favorite motivation: food
How to Feed Your Overweight Cat
Instead of open-bowl feeding your cat, you can either feed them a specific amount at certain times or put little piles of food throughout your house. The places you put the food should be somewhat hard for your cat to reach, a shelf in your book case, a windowsill, upstairs/downstairs, the back of the toilet, or even on top of a box or counter. Anywhere is a possibility. You can exclusively use food puzzles to make your cat work even harder for it.
The way to tell if your cat is back in shape is pretty obvious; the cat should be lean and muscular with an obvious waistline. I hope these tips helped your cat lose weight so that you and your cat can be as happy as Denise and Charlie!