6 Ways to Help Fat Indoor Cats Lose Weight
3 Reasons Why a Cat Might Be Fat
Fat cats may be cute—we all love Garfield—however, if a cat is too overweight, it may result in health problems such as diabetes. Often, a cat may be so fat that it won't participate in the usual fun feline activities. There are many reasons an indoor cat may be overweight, but the following three reasons are most common:
1. Lack of Stimulation
Keeping a cat strictly indoors often does not help with weight issues, as there is less room to run and play around in and fewer things to stimulate and interest them.
2. Inappropriate Diet
You may be feeding your cat inappropriate foods that are not nutritious or feeding them too often and too much.
3. Medical Issues
There may be a medical condition contributing to their obesity, but obesity-related medical conditions are rare and are usually not the problem. The first thing to do would be to go to your vet and have them checked out to make sure he or she doesn't have any serious blood problems or other issues related to or caused by obesity.
How to Help Your Cat to Lose Weight
Here is a list of things you can consider to help your cat lose weight:
1. Stop free-feeding your cat.
Stop free-feeding them. This means you shouldn't fill the dish every time they eat. On average, indoor cats typically require 20–35 calories per pound per day. If your cat is overweight, All Feline Hospital recommends feeding for 2 pounds less (or 40 fewer calories per day) and then readjusting until they reach a healthy maintenance weight. Try to plan out how you will divide your cat's calories and how often you will feed them.
Note: If your cat is diabetic or has an underlying health condition, always work with your veterinarian before altering their feeding regimen.
2. Make sure your cat is getting enough water.
Never leave the water dish empty, and clean and refill it regularly. Cats are finicky and don't like drinking out of dirty water dishes.
3. Stop feeding dry food.
Dry food seldom provides the balanced nutrition cats need and is full of carbs and sugar. The grains serve as allergens and can upset their stomachs. Cats are carnivores and need meat proteins. Also, they are biologically designed to get water from their food.
4. Start feeding them diet food.
Ask your vet which kind of diet food to get, as it depends on the breed and how much weight your cat should lose. Try to stick to natural brands like Nature's Variety.
5. Consider using supplements.
You can try supplements, although weight loss should be able to occur without them. L-carnitine has been shown to aid weight loss in cats.
6. Play with them more.
Cats require stimulation, activity, and movement. They love laser pointers, but try a variety of toys; each cat has different preferences.
Work With Your Vet and Be Patient
Don't be discouraged if the weight is not going down right away. Cats usually lose less than a pound a month; otherwise, health problems may occur. Always consult with your veterinarian when considering a drastic change in your cat's daily regimen. Don't forget to share your success stories below.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
I have a 12-year-old cat. What are some brands of wet canned cat food to help it lose weight?
It's best to check with your vet as there are many effective prescription brands that are effective. I've found Hills Science Diet to be helpful for my cat.Helpful 5