My cat has put on weight, how do I make her lose weight and what diet should she be given?

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A key step in the prevention of companion animal obesity is owner recognition of the condition and the key to obesity management is prevention of obesity. Waltham has developed a simple S.H.A.P.E guide for cat owners that may be of use in allowing owners to monitor body weight of pets throughout their life to enable them to assess changes and take steps for it. The optimum body weight for cats is generally between 3.5 – 5 kg. It is very important to set realistic and obtainable goals for weight loss in consultation with your vet. The pet’s initial goal should be set at 15% body weight loss. Once this goal has been achieved, a new target body weight can be selected until the pet has reached an ideal body weight. To achieve 15% body weight loss, cats can be fed 30x kcal per day. When fed at this level, cats will achieve 15% body weight loss in 18 weeks. Once the daily caloric requirement to achieve 15% body weight has been calculated, consideration should be given to the type of diet to feed. There are essentially two main dietary options – A reduced amount of regular maintenance diet like Whiskas; or specifically formulated diet for weight reduction. Once the daily caloric intake has been calculated and appropriate weight reduction diet chosen, the method of feeding should be determined. Pets on weight reduction programmes should be re-evaluated every two weeks.

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