Obesity is a significant increase in body weight (more than 20% of the norm) due to increased formation of body fat.
How do you know if a cat is overweight? Of course, the best way is to take your pet to the vet. But even at home, you can assess whether your cat is obese by the following signs:
there are abundant deposits of fat on the ribs, spine and abdomen;
there is a pronounced sagging of the abdomen;
there is a significant excess of breed norms of body weight.
To determine the condition index of a cat, there is a special five-point (in some sources – nine-point) assessment system:
It is important to understand that obesity can lead to the risk of developing various diseases (endocrine disorders, diseases of the joints, heart, skin lesions, etc.) and reduce the life expectancy of a pet.
Causas da obesidade
The main causes of obesity in cats include:
improper feeding regimen (food stress);
unsuitable food (excess calories);
estilo de vida sedentário;
solitary content (lack of games with relatives);
misinterpretation of the cat’s behavior (meowing in most cases means a cat’s desire to communicate, and not a request to pour food on it).
As you know, in nature, cats eat small portions, but often. It is perfectly normal for a cat to eat 12 times a day. Unfortunately, in an attempt to reduce their cat’s food intake, owners often end up feeding their cat twice a day, which is wrong. Experiencing hunger and significant stress during the day, the cat eats more than it could eat if the food was constantly in the bowl. It is believed that, ideally, a cat should have dry food constantly available, and wet food can be given 2 times a day.
Treatment of obesity in cats
As you already understood, only by limiting the volume of food the problem of obesity in cats cannot be solved.
Weight loss should be very smooth and healthy. Severe cases of obesity (condition 55) require medical treatment. It is necessary to reduce body weight by no more than 1% per week, otherwise diabetes mellitus may develop.
It should be noted that dietary supplements for appetite control are not used in cats due to the negative impact on their health.
So, what should be done to make a cat lose weight?
Firstly, it is imperative to select the appropriate food, taking into account the conditions of detention and physiological status (castration).
Secondly, you need to follow the correct feeding regimen: dry food should be constantly available, in extreme cases, you can feed in portions 6 times a day or use a special electronic feeder that will add food in portions after a certain period of time.
Thirdly, the use of special slow feeders helps a lot, from which the cat gets food by playing.
And the fourth, but no less important point is to ensure an active lifestyle for the cat. Indeed, in nature, a cat spends most of the time not occupied with sleep in hunting. And the life of a domestic cat is often devoid of any movement, and the instinct of hunting is transformed into begging. Even in a small apartment, a cat can be provided with active pastime during the day.
Next, we will take a closer look at the features of the diet and ways to ensure an active lifestyle.
Special diets are used to treat obesity in cats. Moreover, it can be both industrial feed and homemade, but in the latter case, the recipe must be calculated by a veterinary nutritionist. You can even consult with such a specialist online – in the Petstory mobile application. You can download it from
Diet requirements are as follows:
reduction in the amount of carbohydrates;
reduction in the amount of fat;
using only lean meat;
increasing the content of feed fiber;
sufficient amount of protein;
increase in water content.
It is important to note that the daily energy intake should be calculated according to the ideal weight.
Estilo de vida ativo
Lifestyle modification to treat obesity in cats is just as important as diet.
The best way to increase your cat’s activity is to provide a safe area to run (for example, a fenced yard). Also, active games with the owner himself are extremely important for a cat: no balls and mice can occupy a cat for a long time if they lie motionless on the floor. It is recommended to start playing with the cat every day for 2-3 minutes, gradually increasing the time of classes.
How else can you encourage a cat to move more in an apartment?
Install large houses with scratching posts that encourage the cat to make quick and unpredictable movements;
Put slow feeders and toys filled with treats;
Buy movable mechanical toys that resemble prey;
Hang various hanging toys and cat puzzles.
To prevent obesity, you need to follow a few rules:
Escolha a comida certa
Follow the correct feeding regimen;
Help lead an active lifestyle;
Weigh your pet regularly in order to notice the problem in time.
The ideal weight of a cat is the key to its health, so the weight of a cat should be given great attention.
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Pergunte ao veterinário
Dezembro 14 2020
Atualizado: fevereiro 13, 2021