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Did you know that over half of our feline friends are overweight? This isn’t exactly a shock, given that sleeping and eating are Fluffy’s favorite pastimes. Your furball may look cute with some extra weight, but she’ll be much healthier without it. A Roswell, NM vet offers some insight into this issue below.
Obesity is associated with some pretty serious health risks, for both people and pets. Some of the problems chubby cats may face include heart disease, kidney and liver problems, diabetes, skin trouble, reproductive issues, respiratory issues, and bone/joint issues, such as arthritis. Overweight kitties also have higher risks of complications from surgery or anesthesia, and are more likely to develop certain cancers. That extra weight can even shorten your feline buddy’s lifespan!
Just as with people, diet plays a significant role in cats’ weight. Feeding Fluffy isn’t rocket science, but it can be tricky. For one thing, picking out the perfect pet food can be confusing, with every label using marketing techniques to make their product look great. Portion control is also important. Kitties are also very, very good at ‘meowpulating’ their humans into refilling their bowls. However, overfeeding your furry buddy by just ten calories a day can cause her to pack on extra pounds. Steel yourself against your cute pet’s theatrics!
Our feline pals are quite active and playful as kittens, but they slow down quickly once they’re past that adorable toddler stage. You probably won’t have much luck getting Fluffy on a treadmill, unless she wants to nap on it. Keep your pet moving by offering her lots of toys and playing with her regularly. Use toys you control, like a laser pointer, wand toy, or remote-controlled mice, to make playtime more challenging. Kitties also appreciate having things to climb and explore, like cat towers and newspaper tunnels.
If you know or suspect that your furball is, well, a bit of a butterball, talk to your vet. Sometimes weight gain can be caused by health issues, so it’s important to rule out any medical problems. If Fluffy does need to lose weight, this will need to happen slowly. Crash diets can wreak havoc on kitties’ metabolism, which is very dangerous. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Roswell, NM animal clinic, today!