Managing obesity in cats

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Joan Henderson
Obesity in cats is not very common. But some cats can put on extra weight. It is important to manage their weight to prevent obesity which in turn can cause various health issues
 
 
It is not usual for cats to be obese as most cats seem to regulate their intake of food and observant pet parents take their cat’s diet very seriously.
 
Don’t overfeed kittens
It is more common for neutered cats, generally over three years of age and mainly confined to their homes rather than roaming the neighborhood to become obese and sluggish. If kittens are overfed when they are young they will usually want to be fed much larger amounts of food than what is good for them as they mature. A poor, fattening diet, in a kitten will give them the desire to overeat as they get older. This causes fat accumulation. They become lazy, lacking in energy and that increases the chances of them becoming very obese as they age. When a cat exceeds the normal by 15 percent of weight they
quickly develop a large amount of fat in their stomachs and it does not take long for the fat to hang down as paunch. It also indicates that the cat spends a lot more time sleeping rather than playing with
their toys and living a more energetic life. Play with your cat, throw their ball or toys and encourage them to be more active and lively. Kidney failure can be a real problem in obese cats and it is important to restrict the amount of food available to the cat during the day – a good meal in the morning and evening without leaving ‘snacks’ for the cat to graze on all day helps to keep the cat fit and happy. A fat, lazy cat is neither happy nor healthy.
 
Diet management
If you feel that your cat is becoming too fat it is wise to gradually cut down on the amount of food available. There are commercially prepared low calorie foods available for cats. They are healthy and
nutritious, so you need not worry. It is always wise to talk to your veterinarian about your cat’s increasing weight. He will suggest an appropriate diet plan. The right food and regular exercise will surely help to shed those extra kilos. It’ll be beneficial for the cat as she’ll have a happier and healthier life.
 
(Joan Henderson is an International All Breeds Judge based in Melbourne. She has judged furry felines in many countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and New Zealand.)
PM’s Purring Pal
David Cameron and Larry
When Barack Obama visited David Cameron, ex-British PM, he got introduced to Larry—the cat Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office at 10 Downing Street in London.

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