What’s the harm in a few extra pounds? A ton...Excess weight on your pet can cause chronic health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, and kidney disease—and a 15% shorter life span! More than half of all dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. On average, it has been shown that dogs that are lean live about 2 years longer than dogs who are overweight and we believe the same for all pets in general.
How does your cat measure up?
Regardless of your cats’ size, body, and breed:
- Can you feel your pet’s ribs without too much difficulty?
- Is there a slight but noticeable indented waistline just in front of your pet’s hips when viewed from above?
- Do you see your pet’s waist from the side?
Body Condition Scale (BCS):
Tips to Keep your Cat in Shape:
- Pick up the pace. Get your cat’s heart rate elevated by taking advantage of cats’ natural hunting instincts; most will happily chase feather toys or laser pointers.
- Move the food bowl. Make your pet earn his or her kibble by walking upstairs or to the far end of the hall to eat, or consider using a treat ball to dispense kibble for an additional challenge.
- Give healthy treats like cooked plain chicken breast.
- Try several small meals throughout the day instead of feeding the entire day’s portion at once. This will help boost your pet’s metabolism.
- Keep track of how much you feed and how much your pet ate. If you have multiple pets, feed them separately and only when you are at home.
- Most importantly, weigh your cat weekly after any changes to their plan to be sure they are accepting the plan and eventually monthly to see if the new plan is still working. The goal is to lose approximately 1% of body weight per week. NEVER starve a cat or suddenly change their diet. Cats can develop liver failure if there is a sudden/ drastic decrease in calories for an extended period of time.
For more information, please feel free to call Pet's Friend Animal Clinic about any questions or concerns you may have at 408-739-2688.