Is my cat too big?
You look at your cat, and you like to see him happy, but suddenly you say to yourself: ”Hasn’t he put on weight a little? ”. Overweight and obesity in cats is the order of the day. This is because cats often lead sedentary lives and in many cases we neglect their diet and feed them inadequate food for their needs. If you are wondering if your cat is too fat, here we will give you all the information you need to help you control their weight. This is very important because a fat cat will tend to develop diseases that can reduce their life expectancy and quality of life.
Obesity is defined as the buildup of fatty tissue (fat) in the body . While it doesn’t sound so worrisome in principle, the accumulation of fat associated with being overweight can lead to changes in the body and organism that come with many health risks for your cat.
What are the causes ?
There are a number of reasons your cat may be overweight. The most common are:
- Sterilization . It has been found that neutered cats tend to gain weight due to increased body fat and decreased muscle mass. They also exercise less and have more appetites.
- Imbalance between energy intake and calorie burning . This means that your cat eats a lot and moves around a little.
- An unsuitable diet . We sometimes tend to feed our cat forgetting that it is growing and that its needs change. His diet must be adapted to his nutritional needs.
- Sedentary lifestyle . Even if he eats correctly, if he does not move, your cat may gradually gain weight without you noticing it.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Genetics . Obesity is inherited because it can be associated with a genetic problem.
- Medicines .
- Stress associated with changes in routine . This happens in exceptional cases where the cat isolates itself and tends to eat more.
What are the consequences ?
The consequences of your cat’s overweight can dramatically reduce their quality of life. Here are the most common consequences:
- Metabolic diseases like diabetes .
- Cardio-respiratory diseases.
- Reproductive disorders .
- Liver damage such as fatty liver .
- Urinary, osteo and dermatological problems.
- Risk during anesthesia if necessary.
- Intolerance to heat and exercise.
How do you know if your cat is too big?
Although there are no standard measurements that define overweight in cats, you can explore the chest and see if you can touch its ribs, or if you notice it has too much fat.
Your vet can provide you with charts of your cat’s ideal weight based on size and breed. If the measurements are 10 to 20% higher than the weight indicated in the tables, he is overweight, if they exceed 20%, he suffers from obesity .
How to avoid it?
There are a number of things you can do to monitor your cat’s condition if you think she is overweight. Here are a few :
- Get her evaluated at the vet to rule out some of the ailments mentioned above. If he is ill, your vet will give him the appropriate treatment.
- Choose the type of diet according to their age, size, lifestyle and race . Weigh meals on a scale according to package instructions or those of your veterinarian, and avoid treats and rewards as much as possible. A good option in order not to make a mistake when choosing your diet is to opt for specific recipes for sterilized cats. They are suitable for any cat, sterile or not, and cover their nutritional needs while controlling their weight.
- Encourage physical activity . Play with him, go out together, set up multi-level scrapers that make him move, etc. You can make homemade toys like tunnels, hunt paper balls, etc. Place his bowl in an area where he will have to jump to reach it, and use interactive dispensers that keep food inside to keep your cat active.
As you have seen, being overweight can be a danger for your cat, it should be avoided at all costs! If you find your cat to be fat, remember that diet, exercise, and preventative disease control are key. If you have any doubts about its weight, talk to your vet.