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Feline obesity: how to help your cat lose weight safely

Overweight cats face an increased risk of health complications as well as general discomfort and reduced mobility, leading to a shorter and lower quality of life. Proper nutrition can help your cat slim down, but changing your cat’s diet should always be done in consultation with your veterinarian to ensure your cat loses weight safely. Here are some ways to address the challenges of feline obesity.


Photo of an obese cat

How to know if your cat is obese

Weighing your cat isn’t actually the best way to determine if it’s overweight. Here are some tell-tale signs your cat might be obese:


  • They have no waist. Look down at your cat while you’re both standing. It should have a slight indent between the ribs and hips.

  • You can’t feel their ribs. Gently feel along the sides of your cat’s chest. You should be able to feel its individually its last few ribs.

  • They have a droopy belly. Look at your cat’s profile when it’s standing. Its abdomen should be taut and straight, rising slightly upwards towards the hips.


Schedule a visit with your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs of obesity in your cat.


Common health risks for obese cats

If your cat is obese, it may become more vulnerable to a variety of diseases and conditions such as:


  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Heart disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Arthritis

  • Urinary bladder stones


However, simply reducing the amount of food your cat eats isn’t a recommended solution for obesity as it causes malnourishment and can put your cat at even greater risk.


Changing your cat’s diet safely

Pet nutrition should always be overseen in consultation with your veterinarian. Sudden changes in diet often have serious consequences on the health of a pet. And because every cat has a different physiology and different needs, your veterinarian will suggest weight loss plans specifically designed for your pet through a pet nutrition consultation.


Dietary solutions for obese cats

Cats are naturally carnivores and their bodies benefit from a high-protein diet. Kibble and dry foods are often highly processed and full of carbohydrates. Switching your cat to canned foods containing lean meats, such as chicken or turkey, helps your cat feel full faster as well as burn fat. Your cat’s current weight and caloric requirements should be considered when switching diets. This is something that your veterinary team can help with.

Pet nutrition consultations in Scarborough

If you’re concerned your cat is obese, Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital can suggest a pet nutrition plan to help your cat lose weight. Our cat clinic provides comprehensive veterinary care that ensures your cat lives a longer, fuller life. We also carry various pet foods in our online store, which are available for delivery. Contact us today to make an appointment at our clinic in Scarborough.

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