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How To Shed Your Cat Of Theif Excess Weight

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by: bspilner
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Word Count: 741
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 Time: 12:00 AM

Household pets across the country are dealing with weight problems. Whether it is because of a poor diet or lack of exercise, our loving companions are putting on the pounds. Putting an overweight cat on a weight loss program can be more difficult to carry out than putting a dog on such a program. Identifying whether or not your feline is overweight is the first step in treatment.

You probably think your chubby cat is cute. However, is the possibility of lifelong diabetes treatment cute? Or, what about taking constant trips to the veterinarian, each concerning a new health problem? The truth is that an overweight cat has a much shorter lifespan than a healthy one. Overweight cats are more likely to become lame from joint and muscle problems (such as arthritis), develop diabetes, and suffer from skin problems. Sadly, the skin problems are non-allergy related. Usually, the cats are too large to properly groom themselves, resulting in problematic skin conditions.

Cats that are raised in certain living conditions are also more likely to become overweight; and, thus, suffer additional health problems. Neutered cats, cats that live in apartments, inactive cats, mixed breed cats, and those eating prescribed diets are more likely to gain excessive weight. The problem with prescribed diets is that the serving suggestions are normally not followed; the cat is eating the same serving size as she would normal food, except the specialty food has many more calories.

To determine if your cat is overweight, you can use scales on the Internet to compare the size of your cat to other cat silhouettes. The charts give instructions on what parts of the body to pay attention to. Another way to tell if your cat is overweight is by feeling her ribs. If you can fill her ribs when gently applying pressure, then she is not overweight. If her ribs protrude from her body, then she is too skinny. If you cannot feel her ribs unless you press, then she is overweight. Standing over her, you should be able to see the shape of her waistline. Keep in mind that just because she passes the weight test does not necessarily mean she is healthy.

If you think your cat is overweight, then take a trip to the veterinarian’s office. Your vet can weigh and measure her, letting you know whether or not she needs to be placed on a weight reduction program. Your vet will also check for the possibility of health problems causing the excess weight or problems that may interfere with weight loss. You should listen carefully to your vet when it comes to a weight loss program. Cats should not lose weight too rapidly, because this can lead to other problems. Many specialists recommend a safe weight loss of 1-2% of body weight each week. More than likely, you will either cut back on the amount of food your cat eats or you will change food entirely. All high-calorie treats and snacks along with table scraps should be completely eliminated from the diet.

Exercising to lose weight is more easily accomplished with dogs; you can go for a walk, run, and play catch. With a cat, it is unlikely that you will have her jogging down the street; however, even a little yarn play can make a difference in her health. Spend ten minutes each day playing with your cat using an interactive toy. If she likes to run and hide, then playfully chase her around the house. Any activity that gets your kitty moving is beneficial no matter how much she weighs.

You will need to continuously monitor your cat’s progress. It’s a good idea to keep a log of what, when, and how much you are feeding her in addition to any exercise she may be getting. Your vet may recommend weekly or biweekly weigh-ins to further monitor the weight loss program.

An overweight cat is more likely to suffer from health problems and a shortened life than one that is a normal weight. Some cats are more susceptible to weight gain than others, but inactivity can cause all cats to gain weight. If your cat is overweight, then visit your veterinarian, and start a weight reduction program. Your vet can give you tips, advice, and schedules to help your cat return to a normal, healthy size.

About the Author

This article was written by Brian Spilner and provided by a site featuring fashionable pet carriers and dog crates.

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