How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight
While it may seem like a few extra pounds is no big deal, it can make a big difference for your cat. A couple of pounds can equal 30% of their body weight. Whether your feline friend has had a few too many treats or needs to get back to pouncing on fake prey, how to help your cat lose weight comes down to understanding why it's important and implementing a few lifestyle changes.
Benefits of Keeping Your Cat at a Healthy Weight
It's estimated that almost two-thirds of house cats are overweight. And just like with humans, being overweight can cause a variety of health problems for your pet. Cats that are overweight are at an increased risk of diabetes, arthritis and other joint issues and urinary tract disease — all of which can shorten your cat's lifespan and create the need for ongoing medication to manage these conditions. Being overweight can also make your cat more lethargic and less likely to engage in play and social behaviours, which can lower overall quality of life.
So what is a healthy weight for your cat? The answer depends largely on the breed and natural size of your cat, but the average house cat should weigh somewhere around 10 pounds. If you're not sure whether your cat is overweight or how much they should lose, a conversation with your vet can help get you started on the right track.
How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight: 4 Tips
Maybe you recognize that your cat has started to get a little fluffier in the past few years but aren't sure where to start to make a change. Helping your cat slim down doesn't have to be hard, and these four tips can show you how to help your cat lose weight.
1. Cut Down on Treats
While a few treats here and there as a training tool or a bonding experience is fine, if your cat struggles with staying at a healthy weight, overusing treats or providing table food can add up to a lot of extra calories. Consider using a bit of regular cat food for training or in a toy instead of food.
2. Switch to a Weight Loss Cat Food
Changing your cat's food to a weight loss cat food like Pro Plan FOCUS adult weight management formula ensures your cat still gets the blend of protein and nutrients they need without the extra calories. Whether your cat eats a dry or wet food is largely a matter of preference, but there are weight control options for both.
3. Provide Physical and Mental Stimulation
Cats sleep a large portion of the day naturally, but this doesn't mean that they don't need some daily exercise too. Taking your cat for a walk with a harness and leash is an option, but you can also just provide a fun play session that helps encourage physical activity and mental engagement.
4. Consult With Your Vet
Every pet is unique, and developing a plan to help your cat lose weight is best done in partnership with your veterinarian. A professional can give you a weight loss goal for your cat, provide strategies and recommendations on how to start shedding those pounds and monitor your pet's health during the process.
To find the best cat foods for weight loss, check out Purina.ca's selection of Pro Plan dry and wet cat foods specifically designed to help your cat stay at a healthy weight.