It’s natural for your cat to gain a bit of weight in the cooler months. Much like us, they can feel the urge to comfort eat the cold weather away. Again, as with humans, it can be easy for your kitty to slide from “winter warm” to “fat”. A healthy male cat should weigh between 4 and 5.5kgs, whereas a female will weight between 3 and 4.5kgs. Once your fluffy friend exceeds their average weight range by more than 20%, they’ve ventured into the realm of obesity. While fat cats can look adorable, they can suffer a range of health problems.
Luckily, you don’t need to sign your cat up for Weight Watchers or F45 to get them back in shape. With a few simple changes, you can return them to their spritely summer body!
Switch your cat’s wet food for dry food – and don’t top it up during the day
Dry food is a simple, convenient meal source that can be served to your cat in a dash. However, for the portly feline in your life, wet food provides the better option for two reasons. Firstly, wet food (especially high-quality, meat-based pet food) generally contains more protein. This will leave your cat feeling full throughout the day, and less likely to scrounge for other food sources.
Secondly, you’re better able to control your kitty’s portion sizes. By contrast, many Pet Owners can be tempted to top up their kitty’s dry food during the day. This will program your cat to eat quickly and empty their bowl, safe in the knowledge it will be refilled.
Serving your cat 3 – 4 ounces of wet food per meal will give them everything they need. Once they come to learn this, they will pace their eating accordingly.
Exercise them for 30 minutes a day
After you’ve addressed your kitty’s eating habits, it will be time to get them moving. Whether you walk them on a leash, get them playing with their favourite toy, or provide them with puzzles to solve is up to you. After all, you know your cat best, and you know what will best motivate them. Provided you exercise them for 30 minutes each day, they’ll start to feel the burn.
Their workout routine doesn’t need to wait on you, either. Buying your cat a scratching post will empower them to get moving on their own!
Keep them indoors to control their weight
As most cat lovers know, felines can be masters of deception. When left to explore the neighbourhood, cats can roam from house to house, convincing hapless humans they haven’t been fed in days. Before you know it, they’ve eaten six dinners in a 12-hour window.
To ensure you can control their diet, play it safe and keep them inside.
If you’ve applied the above steps and your cat is still struggling to lose weight, have them checked out at your local vet.