Obesity is one of the largest cat health care problems in the United Kingdom. More pet cats than ever before are struggling with obesity and the serious cat health care issues that come with it. Sadly, obesity amongst cats can be regarded as a vicious circle: an obese cat is significantly less likely to be physically active, meaning that they are more likely to remain obese.
As far as diagnosis goes, this cat health care issue is easier to spot than others: all it needs is a good look at the animal. If it is a healthy weight, a cat will have a clearly visible waist when viewed from above, just in front of its back legs and if it is a short hair breed its ribs should be easily felt but not seen.
The vet will confirm the cat is obese by weighing him or her and will then offer advice on how to get the cat to lose weight. If left to remain overweight, cats can go on to suffer various cat health care problems including, arthritis, difficulty breathing, heart problems and diabetes. In short, obesity can kill a cat.
Owners can buy special, low calorie cat food from pet shops and their vet’s practice. We have to remember that any cat treats our pet eats still contribute to the daily calorie total, so if treats are given, meal sizes should be reduced accordingly. Leftovers from human meals and titbits can also add to the calorific content of a cat’s diet. Some cats may be being fed by well meaning neighbours. A polite request that neighbours do not feed your cat might make all the difference.
All cat owners have a responsibility to promote good cat health care and this includes encouraging physical activity. Try and ensure your cat spends some time strolling outside everyday. Also try to spend more time playing with your cat. Toys like balls encourage cats to chase, which will boost their weight loss.