Weight loss for my cat?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by animalpro24, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. animalpro24

    animalpro24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Oregon
    One of my cats (well both really) is over weight. While we were gone for a couple of weeks our neighbors (whom we love[​IMG]) took care of them. They gave them treats everyday and now they are over weight. It doesn't effect them but I'd like them to be at least a little thinner. Is their a good easy way to help them lose weight. If no I don't mind but it would be nice.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Well, "easy" depends on the cat and on how well you follow advice I suppose. In order to loose weight, they simply need to take in fewer calories than they burn. Not so easy if your cats are like mine and sleep for 75% of the day.

    Start by cutting out any and all treats, since it sounds like the treats may be a big part of what got them into this mess in the first place. They don't need them, they will get all the nutrition they need from their cat food. If you absolutely feel the need to give them treats, then you need to reduce the amount of food they get that day accordingly. For example, say they get two pounce treats, reduce the amount of food by 6-10 kibbles that day.

    Second, measure the food. Cats, contrary to what they would like you to believe and popular feeding practices, do not need to have food available to them 24/7. They should be getting a certain amount of food per day based on their ideal body weight. If your cats are used to eating free choice this measured meals could be tricky. You may be lucky and be able to just set down the total amount of food they need for the day and they may just graze off and on. Or they could be like my gluttons who would eat till they burst given the opportunity. You may need to start by slowly picking up the food for a few hours each day, slowly extending the amount of time that the food is unavailable. Or you could invest in one of those timed feeders that only dispenses a set amount of food at a specific time (the added advantage of these is that the cat doesn't associate you with feeding time, therefor they won't harass you in hopes of getting fed just a little early).

    Third, encourage exercise. I know, usually easier said than done in cats. Probably the easiest way is to make them move to get to their food. You can feed them on an elevated area such as a cat tree, make them go up or down stairs to be fed, etc. You can even divide their meals up into several small bowls instead of dumping the entire ration into one bowl and place the bowls in different rooms and/or levels of the house. You can also get a treat ball type toy to feed them their meals so that they have to bat at the toy to get to their food.

    Finally, consider a light or low-fat formula. These formulas usually have about 20% fewer calories than the same amount of the regular formula of the same brand. But you have to be careful, if you overfeed a light formula it is still easy for a cat to consume more calories than they will use and they can still get fat on a "weight control" diet.
     
  3. animalpro24

    animalpro24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
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    Thanks! They're outside cats but occasionally they spend time inside sleeping. After they put on the extra pounds I didn't touch the treats and even before then they never got treats except for little bits of turkey or ham. Thanks so much!
     

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