First of all, you should know that an overweight cat is one that weighs 10% more than what is recommended. And an obese cat is one that weighs more than 20% more than the ideal weight.
If you think your cat may be in one of these two groups, it is important to see a vet to determine whether your cat is overweight or obese, as both could have negative health consequences.
Your vet will help you make a plan for your cat to lose weight safely and gradually, as sudden weight loss would not be healthy either. Although every cat is different, there are two fronts to “attack”:
- Physical activity
Feeding advice for obese or overweight cats
- Determine the daily calorie intake your cat should have. Your vet will be able to calculate this for you.
- Choose a low-calorie, natural-based food, such as Picart Petcare’s Light range for neutered cats, specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of overweight cats. You have 3 options: Picart Select Adult Grain Free chicken and egg, for cats from 12 months of age; Picart Select Adult Sensitive salmon, trout and rice, also for cats from 1 year of age, and Picart Select Adult +7 years chicken and rice, recommended for cats over 7 years of age.
- Follow a feeding schedule. Don’t always leave food out for your cat, set a regular feeding time and it will be easier to control your kitten’s daily intake. Your vet will also tell you if you can spread the calories over several feedings or if it is better to concentrate them in one feeding.
- Don’t give him snacks. Cat “treats” are extra calories that an overweight cat does not need.
Tips for increasing physical activity in obese or overweight cats
- Let your cat go outside. Whenever possible, let your cat go outside and have the option to run, jump, climb a tree or even hunt.
- Give him challenges. Climb up and down stairs, put toys in places where he has to jump to get them…
- Play with him. Playing is an ideal way to exercise. And there are plenty of toys that will make him run or move, such as balls, electronic mice, laser pointers, running wheels…
- Make your own homemade toys. They’re a classic, but they work. Balls of wool, rolls of toilet paper, paper or cardboard bags and boxes, cork stoppers and shoelaces have always been objects that a cat can play with and have a good time while exercising.