Every time you hit the tub with your furry friend, it should feel like a fun bonding moment, not a...
Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Tabby at a Healthy Weight
Cats spoil us. With their soft purr, playful headbutts, and warm cuddles, they have all the tools to win our affection at any given moment.
Perhaps that explains how Garfield got away with an awfully gluttonous and lazy lifestyle.
Whatever the reason was, I hardly blame Jon for letting Garfield have its own way. Because, as a cat owner myself, every day feels like a full-fledged battle against the urge to shower my furry companion with all she loves.
Yet, as difficult as it may be, giving in to my desires isn’t an option. The last thing I want is to lead my precious tabby to a lifetime of suffering and misery.
Don’t let bad habits slip
It’s no secret that being overweight is unhealthy. But there’s more to the story.
Here’s a sobering statistic to help you better contextualize the devastating effects of feline obesity – the mortality rate for overweight cats is nearly three times that of their lean counterparts.
How’s that so? Fat tissues.
In short, fat tissues for feline species tend to be uber active in releasing inflammatory mediators, which, in turn, impose significant oxidative stress on the body.
That says a lot about why overweight cats are at a much greater risk of developing deadly health conditions, including cancer, chronic arthritis, diabetes, fatty liver syndrome, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Signs your kitty is walking on thin ice
Life would’ve been easier if our furry friends cared half as much about their looks as we did. Unfortunately, all cats see when they look in the mirror is nothing but a strange beast.
That’s to say there’s practically no incentives for cats to develop healthy habits on their own. It’s all up to us to keep them fit and slim.
Before we get down to the nuts and bolts on best practices for staying in shape, let’s try to gauge which end of the obesity spectrum your kitty falls.
Skim through the list and see how many of the following telltale signs apply.
- Bulging waistline
The first place you should look is the waistline and above. And the very same principles apply as set out for dogs. Here’s a brief recap of the pointers we’ve laid out in our guide to canine obesity.
Can’t make out anything resembling a waist above the hips? Not a good sign.
Confused as to where the ribs might be as you run your hand along the belly? Tough luck.
Spot noticeable indentation around the hips below a prominent rib cage? Honest sign.
- Loss of strength
Cat leaps are a thing of beauty. The whole dynamics of the jump is executed with so much finesse and grace.
Yet, the law of physics doesn’t discriminate. With extra pounds pulling them down to the ground, making that hop onto their favorite piece of furniture becomes a struggle.
- Seek a vet
We bring this up every time. But that’s because there’s simply no other way around it.
Consulting a vet is a must. It’s the only way to get a detailed diagnosis that will serve as a roadmap for working out effective treatment options.
Tried and true methods to get your cat back in shape
Then again, tracking down a qualified veterinarian, let alone booking an appointment, doesn’t happen overnight.
In that case, find yourself a credible televet platform and get your tabby looked at virtually. And while you wait for a slot to open up for an in-person examination, put these best practices to work to help your kitty drop a size in the meantime.
- Make her work
Cats are playful creatures. They won’t voluntarily engage in an activity unless it’s fun.
A good place to start for spicing up your workouts is toys. Whether it’s a cat tree, piñata, or a simple tail chaser, there are plenty of options when it comes to incentivizing your cat to be more active.
- Feed her right
Everything you need to know about a healthy feline diet is charted out in this guide.
If you want the short version, remember three things – meat is king; fresher the better; and carbs are a no-no.
Play the long game
As awesome as it’d be for results to manifest right away, weight management is a gradual endeavor. And it’s important for you to play the long game.
Sure, there will be times when you feel like you’re depriving your beloved kitty of happiness and joy. But press forward keeping in mind that she’ll be much better off in the long haul.
* Photo on Canva