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Cat Obesity: How to Keep Your Feline Fit and Healthy

Keeping our furry companions healthy and fit is always on the top of every pet owner’s list. Sometimes, however, situations arise where our furry friends may end up with a little more weight than they need.

Carrying extra weight can cause many health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory issues, and joint problems. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that over 50% of cats are overweight.

If you think your cat is one of them, here are some ways to identify whether your cat needs to lose weight and how you can help them lose weight in a healthy way.

Identifying if Your Cat Needs to Lose Weight

Assessing Body Condition

One of the best ways to determine whether or not your cat is overweight is to assess their body condition. Ideally, you should be able to feel your cat’s ribs without exerting too much pressure.

If you cannot feel the ribs when you run your hands along their ribcage, your cat may be overweight. Another way to gauge if your cat needs to lose weight is by checking their waist and abdomen.

If your cat doesn’t have a visible waist when you look down at them and their abdomen is rounder than it should be, your cat may need to lose some weight. It is important to check your cat’s body condition regularly so you can keep them at their ideal weight.

Ideal Weight

Determining your cat’s ideal weight should involve consulting with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will be able to consider your cat’s breed, age, overall health, and diet to determine the ideal weight for your cat.

Your veterinarian can also construct a plan and routine that is tailored to your cat’s specific needs to help them lose weight.

Calories for Weight Loss

Once you figure out your cat’s ideal weight, you’ll need to determine how many calories your cat should consume each day to achieve their weight loss goal. To determine your cat’s daily caloric intake, you’ll need to apply a formula suitable for their needs.

Your veterinarian can help you with this calculation. Additionally, youll need to determine a safe rate of weight loss for your cat by first knowing how many calories it takes to maintain your cat’s current weight, and then reducing that figure by 10% – 20%.

This gradual calorie reduction will help your cat lose weight safely and avoid health risks that can come with more rapid weight loss.

Ways to Help Your Cat Lose Weight in a Healthy Way

Puzzle Feeders

Puzzle feeders are a great way to encourage physical and mental activity in cats, allowing them to work for their food. This enrichment also helps prevent boredom, which can be the cause of excessive food intake.

Puzzle feeders come in all shapes, sizes, and complexities, so you can find one that suits your cat’s individual needs and preferences. You can try different types of feeders that vary in challenge levels to keep your cat entertained and engaged on a daily basis.

Fun Exercise

Cats are naturally active animals, and playtime can be a fun and easy way to encourage exercise. Climbing structures, scratching posts, toys, and laser pointers are great ways to get your cat moving.

You can alternate different types of toys and activities to keep things interesting for your cat. Whenever possible, try to engage in active play with your cat so that you can both enjoy bonding and exercise time together.

Cutting Back on Treats

Cutting back on treats is an easy way to reduce the number of calories your cat consumes on a daily basis. Caloric treats such as soft treats or biscuits are the main culprits, so look for healthier options that your cat still enjoys.

Treats that help clean your cat’s teeth or provide a nutritional benefit, like salmon or chicken, are excellent options. You can also switch to non-food rewards like cuddles, praise, and affection.

Switching Food

Switching to a lower-calorie food is an easy and effective way to reduce your cat’s daily caloric intake. When choosing new food, make sure you do so gradually, over the course of seven to ten days.

Additionally, cats are known for being finicky eaters, so it may require some trial and error to find one that suits their individual tastes and preferences.

Preventing Overeating

If you have multiple cats or if your cat is a fast eater, it’s important to monitor their food intake. Your veterinarian may recommend you use designated feeding bowls for each cat, or a programmable feeder to help control food intake.

When feeding your cat, make sure to measure out their food to ensure they are getting the right amount.

Microchip-Activated Feeder

If you have multiple cats in your household, feeders with a microchip reader are a great way to ensure that your designated cat is the only one gaining access to the food. These microchip-activated feeders will only open up when they sense their designated cat is nearby and prevent any other cats from eating their food.

This simple product can help you feed your cats more accurately and reduce the likelihood of overweight cats.


Keeping your cat healthy and fit can help improve their overall quality of life and prevent many health problems down the road. With a proper diet, exercise routine, and management of treats, your cat can achieve and maintain their ideal weight.

By finding the right routine for your cat, you’ll not only help them lose weight but also keep them healthy and happy. Take time to assess your cat’s current condition, consult with your veterinarian, and begin making the necessary changes to keep your cat healthy for years to come.

In conclusion, keeping our cats at a healthy weight is crucial for their overall well-being and longevity. Identifying if your cat needs to lose weight involves assessing their body condition, determining their ideal weight, and calculating their caloric intake.

Helping your cat lose weight in a healthy way can include providing physical and mental stimulation through puzzle feeders and playtime, cutting back on treats, switching to lower-calorie foods, preventing overeating, and using microchip-activated feeders. By taking these steps, you can help your cat achieve and maintain their ideal weight, improving their quality of life and preventing potential health issues down the line.

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