Cat Health – Everything You Need To Know About Obesity In Cats And Tips To Ward Off The Same

Cat Health

Why Cat Health is Important and How to Ward Off?

Excess deposition of fat can bring detrimental effects on your cat’s health by reducing its lifespan and tagging along serious disorders. This is why it is mandatory to seek out the help of your veterinarian if your cat gains excessive weight. Usually, felines are segregated under the obese category if their body weight exceeds the normal range by 20% or more. You are most likely to notice this rhetoric deterioration in your cat’s health if you come across the following symptoms:

  • No distinct waistline visible while looking at your kitty from a birds’ eye view.
  • A noticeable bulge on both the sides of the tail base.
  • Difficulty in feeling its spine or ribs with your palms.

Given the fact that cats come in various sizes might make it difficult to detect this deterioration in your cat’s health. This is where you vet comes in to make things easier for you. Enough said, let’s now take a look at the apparent triggers of this silent killer plaguing your favorite feline:

  • Tabby or common cats are more prone to suffering from obesity than their pure breed peers. The only exception to this general consensus in terms of your cat’s health is Manx breed cats who stand at equal risk as that of common ones.
  • Male cats stand at heightened risk of obesity which gets further accentuated in the case of sterilization. Feline sterilization has been termed as the biggest cause of obesity by a plethora of animal experts.
  • Environmental factors can also have a big role to play in determining your cat’s health as a cat staying alone in an apartment stands more vulnerable to the pangs of obesity when compared to the ones living in close contact of other cats or dogs.
  • Cats belonging to the age group of 5 to 11 stand at increased risk of suffering from obesity. You can thus take care of your cat’s health by adopting preventive measures right from the time your kitty crosses over the age barrier of 2 years. The dual aspects of slow metabolism and pain in joints can cause your senior cat to become all the more inactive. This can ultimately lead to obesity if you don’t exert restrictions on your cat’s diet.
  • Your cat’s health can also be adversely affected by certain medications such as Glucocorticoids which can lead to excessive hunger and in turn lead to obesity in your four-legged bestie.
  • Cats should ideally be fed between three to four small meals everyday comprising preferably of frozen or raw-dried food. However, we mostly use “free-fall” dry food feeders which actually affect our cat’s health by filling in their bowl continuously as they keep on consuming. This actually leads to excess consumption of food and ultimately causes obesity.

Diagnosing Obesity In Cats

Obesity in Feline
Obesity in your Feline

Your vet will primarily perform a medical examination for establishing whether your cat is truly overweight. Since cats belonging to varying age and breed have different standards of weight, it is imperative to seek out the help of a body condition scoring system scale for being sure about your cat’s health. Herein, your cat will be measured from 1-5 where 3 is considered to be normal and 1-9 where 4.5 is considered normal. While the score of 1 indicates that your cat is extremely thin, a score ranging from 5-9 stand out as indicators of obesity. In such a condition, your cat needs to undergo diagnostic testing. You can be sure about your cat’s health by conducting some tests which include blood work which rules out medical conditions like an underactive thyroid. You also need to inform your vet about the existing medications your cat is taking coupled with a detailed report of your kitty’s diet.

Cat Health – Treating Obesity In Cats

Treating Obesity In Cats
Treating Obesity In Cats

After discussing the nature of obesity, a proper plan will be drawn up by your vet for treating your cat’s health. It is imperative for a professional to monitor your cat given the health risks which are involved in the vigorous dropping of weight. There also exist high chances behind the occurrence of life-threatening diseases such as hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver. This is why it is imperative to bring your kitty under expert supervision before starting with a treatment plan.

  • Diet – You can take care of your cat’s health by placing your kitty under a weight loss program which will keep a tab on its weight as well as food intake. While certain nutritional products can add inertia to this process, it is imperative to ensure that the quantum of food is not reduced abruptly as that can lead to malnutrition.
  • Exercise – You can cater to your cat’s health by encouraging them to become more active. Interactive toys can be used for keeping them on their feet while making them enjoy the activity to the core. You can also play the fetching game with your kitty and incorporate climbing of stairs in the same. A pet harness can be used for taking care of your cat’s health by taking out your kitty for a walk.

The entire stretch of 20-30 minutes in a day can be split up into two or three sessions for engaging your cat in fun-filled exercises. However, it is imperative to note here that while some cats take harness pretty well, others might resist the whole thing. Keeping the best interest of your cat’s health in mind, it is advisable not to force the issue if your kitty doesn’t find it amusing.

  • Medication – Conditions such as hypothyroid can be treated by proper administration of prescription drugs coupled with diets recommended by your vet. Since various dry foods contain high quantum of carbohydrates leading to obesity, you can cater to your cat’s health by switching over to raw or canned food on a gradual basis.

While dealing with obesity in your feline friend, it is extremely important to take things up in a slow but steady manner. Given the fact that you see your cat daily, it might be difficult to notice any change. However, your cat’s health is bound to improve in the background and you can ensure the same through frequent vet check-ups. Once an ideal weight range is reached, you should strive to maintain the same as chances of a violent relapse remain substantially high if the activity and portion control is not properly managed.

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