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A Guide to Telling If Your Cat Is a Healthy Weight
Monday October 3rd 2016
Cat obesity is a serious problem which affects the majority of the UK’s adult cat population. You may not think that it’s a huge problem for your cat to be slightly overweight, however, feline obesity can increase the risk of your cat developing diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer and heart and respiratory diseases. In order to avoid any of these serious health problems, it is important that you understand how to monitor your cat’s weight to check that they are always on the healthy side of the scale.
- Run your hands over your cat’s rib cage, if you can easily feel each rib beneath their skin, your cat is most likely a healthy weight. If you notice that the ribs are visibly protruding, your cat may be too thin, and if you cannot feel the ribs without having to press to find them, this is a sign that your cat is overweight.
- Check their waistline. When you view your cat from above, their waistline should go inwards, similar to an hourglass shape. If your cat is overweight it is unlikely they will have this shape, and their waste may protrude outwards instead.
- The last thing to check is your cat’s tummy. When you view your cat from the side, you should notice that the diameter of their waist is smaller than the diameter of their ribcage, this is also known as an abdominal tuck. If your cat does not have a visible abdominal tuck, this is a sign that they are overweight.
How to help your cat lose weight:
If your cat is showing signs that they are overweight, it’s important that you begin to make changes to their diet and exercise regimes as soon as possible. Reducing the amount in which your cat consumes on a daily basis is the first step to take, but this should be done gradually over a couple of weeks. The type of food you give your cat is also an important factor in helping them shift any excess weight, as you need to be able to feed them less whilst still satisfying their hunger. Consult your vet before starting any new dietary regimes to ensure that their nutritional requirements will still be met.
The next important step is to make sure your cat is getting enough exercise from day to day. If your cat isn’t one for roaming outside very often, get them to play with you indoors and encourage exercise using toys such as feather wands and laser pointers. An alternative option if you don’t have much time to sit and play with your cat every day, is to adopt a second cat into the family so that they can play with each other. Chasing and playing with each other will help the cats to expend more energy and should increase their general health and fitness.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.