Advice: Is My Cat Overweight?

This article first appeared on ProtectaPet here.

If you’re concerned about your cat piling on the pounds, then we’ll show you how to identify if there is a problem, and what to do to get your feline healthy and in tip top condition.

HOW CAN I TELL IF MY CAT IS TOO FAT?

Body Condition Score (BCS) is a universal set of guidelines used by veterinary professionals to assess how healthy your cat’s weight is. They do this by feeling for fat in certain locations on the body.
There are ways to assess your cat at home by simply looking at your cat and feeling around the ribs, waist, limbs, spine and abdominal area.
Your cat’s composition is given a number on a scale from 1-9, 1 being too thin, 5 being an ideal weight, and 9 being overweight.

If your cat leans toward either end of the scale, measures should be taken to ensure they reach a healthy weight. In this article we will be giving our advice for an overweight cat.

Take a look at the chart below from our friends at International Cat Care to gain an understanding where your cat sits on the scale.

If you are unsure where your cat sits on the body condition score and have concerns, then book a trip to your vets who will be able to advise you.

MY CAT HAS A BODY CONDITION SCORE BETWEEN 7-9, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The first point of call for losing weight is diet. In order for your cat to lose weight, it’s important to look at the amount of calories they are consuming, the type of food you are feeding them, and behavioural patterns around food.

The first step is to ensure you are feeding complete food. Although your cat is overweight, it is still important they have all the correct nutrients and get that ‘full’ feeling. Some say it is better to feed a lower quantity of complete food, than it is to feed a high quantity of low calorie food.

Refer to the companies feeding calculator to calculate the portion sizes for your cat to achieve optimum weight. Remember, you should choose the portion size according to the weight your cat should be, rather than feeding the amount of food designed for your cat at its current weight.

Just like humans, diet and exercise go hand in hand. Obesity is more common in indoor cats due to a more sedentary lifestyle.

Try hiding food in harder-to-reach places to make your cat work for the food instead of food being extremely accessible. Placing bowls on top of climbers etc. is one tip that is easy to put into practice!

A way to give your cat access to the outdoors to burn calories without the common dangers is a ProtectaPet system.

SHOP NOW

And finally, boredom doesn’t help matters! Ensuring your cat’s world is full of enrichment with plenty of opportunities to climb, play, run and be engaged shifts the focus away from eating whilst also burning off calories. Take a look at some of the products for enrichment that ProtectaPet offers here.

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