Click here to learn more.
Too much food and too little exercise is doing to our cats exactly what it's doing to us -- making them fat. And with felines, just as with as humans, obesity all too often leads to diabetes, joint diseases, heart problems, increased risk of cancer, and other serious health and behavioral issues.
Weight loss is important, but a crash diet for a cat can be deadly. If overweight cats lose weight too quickly, they can develop a serious liver disorder that can be challenging to treat and is occasionally fatal. It's called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.
Hepatic lipidosis isn't just a problem with dieting cats, either. It's also a problem with sick cats who cannot or will not eat. And it can rear its fatty head when people switch cat foods and think, "If the cat gets hungry enough, she'll eat." A cat can and will starve herself into this potentially fatal condition.
To be safe, cats should lose weight gradually, no more than 1 percent of their body weight per week. The goal is to drop the excess over a period of five or six months.
The best approach to weight loss in cats is a combination of moderate calorie restriction -- ask your veterinarian for dietary guidance -- and increased exercise. Try throwing a mouse-shaped toy or playing with a fishing pole-type toy -- anything to get your cat up and moving. Be on the lookout, though, for heavy breathing, fatigue, or other evidence that kitty needs a break.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Sparky the dog's owner pulled him from an icy lake, and then the pup helped two men rescue his owner after she…
Ignoring your pup's bouncing and giving him something to carry in his mouth are a few simple ways to prevent…
Between the ages of 7 and 9, your cat is old enough to have some stable wisdom but still young enough for whimsical…
If you travel a lot or can’t afford a dog’s health care costs, maybe it’s not the right time to…
If your pup is tearing up the house while you’re gone, that could be a sign that she needs more physical…
The gentle, affectionate and sociable Selkirk Rex is a good traveler and excellent therapy cat.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.