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How to Manage Obesity in Cats

Overweight cat in Toronto

Unfortunately, obesity in domestic cats has been on the rise. Obesity poses serious heath threats to your cat, including contributing to osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disorders, and diabetes. Just like with us humans, if cats don’t get enough exercise or don’t have the correct diet, they can accumulate fat in their bodies. Not all big cats are necessarily obese, of course. Technically, obesity is determined by the proportion of fat relative to what should be normal for your cat’s size. If your cat has 20% more body weight than is normal for a cat of his or her size, you cat is technically obese.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Obese? Technical definitions of obesity don’t necessarily help the average pet owner decide if action should be taken to control a cat’s weight. The best way to decide if your cat is obese is to take him or her to your local veterinarian in Toronto. If you’d like some indication of whether a trip to a vet is necessary, you can use the “Body Condition Score” test. This is a simple preliminary test that isn’t perfect but will give you a good idea if your cat has a problem. To perform this test, you just have to run your hands down three sections of your cat:

  • Ribs: as you run your hands firmly across your cat’s ribs, can you feel his or her ribcage? If your cat is overweight you’ll largely feel fat and if he or she is underweight, you’ll feel ribcage but little or no fat at all.

  • Waist: Your cat’s hips should have almost an hourglass shape as you run your hands along them. If there are fat deposits around or you can’t see your cat’s waistline as you look down, it may be a sign of obesity.

  • Stomach: Be careful when testing your cat’s tummy. Many cats can be sensitive in this area. That being said, you’ll need to firmly feel for your cat’s outline if there’s a lot of fur in the way. If your cat’s stomach is distended, it may be a sign of obesity.

These are only rough estimates of how much fat your cat has, of course. If you’re concerned about your cat’s weight don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for a professional opinion. What Can I Do to Control My Cat’s Weight? Just as with humans, getting your cat to lose weight may not be easy, but it is usually fairly simple: diet and exercise. Finding new ways to play with your cat can be a challenge. If your cat is obese, exercise may be uncomfortable at first. Gradual weight loss is essential for your cat as quick weight loss can lead to health problems and maybe even a scary trip to the animal hospital. To make sure you have the right plan for your cat to lose weight, you should consult a veterinarian at Kato Animal Hospital in Toronto so we can help you develop the regime that’s right for your cat.


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