Recent veterinary surveys have indicated that between 25 to 30% of all cats fall into the overweight category. And some of these kitties are actually obese. When they carry this excess weight, it is not just an aesthetic concern, obesity in kitties can lead to a huge variety of undesirable medical conditions as well – and this can shorten their lives in the long run.
Kitty Weight Gain
When we experience weight gains in our cats it can be insidious, and can even go unnoticed for a period of time. As you might imagine, there is a very big trend in weight gain among cats that live indoors. And in addition to this, the number of cats that live indoors is also trending upwards, so we can expect the overall number of obese cats to grow as well.
Most vets believe cat obesity is a dietary problem above all else. And this is how it is frequently diagnosed during their annual checkups. Cat owners usually believe that there is a medical problem causing the excess weight in their afflicted kitty, but in most cases, this is not true.
As with most overweight humans, most overweight cats are simply consuming more calories than they are burning on a daily basis. And as always, the net results are that excess calories get converted to fat.
Cat Weight Watching
The biggest problem with overweight cats comes from overfeeding them. It is always a good idea not to overfeed kittens so they will learn good eating habits at an early age. After you neuter them, you should always assume there will be a weight gain – so it is a good idea to reduce their food about 10-20% afterwards.
Another good idea is to provide them with cat activity toys to play with when you are gone. At the first sign of weight gain, you should always increase activity and/or decrease food intake.
Problems Associated with Cat Obesity
As an obese cat gets older, they are more likely to become lame. Their joints are only built to withstand a certain amount of weight and they begin to give way to the excess stress from obesity. As they become overburdened, painful arthritis begins to set in. Thus, afflicted kitties become very tentative about jumping up or down.
Fat cats are also more prone to having sugar diabetes. And they are also targets of various urinary conditions as well. This is particularly the case with overweight inactive, indoor male cats. And there is also fatty liver disease – which is actually very rare – but is associate with obesity.
In the end, cat obesity is really a condition that is caused by cat owners. Every cat has the tendency to beg for food, and when owners continue to give it to them, they become overweight. The most difficult part of overcoming kitty obesity is for the owner to realize that the short amount of time that their cats beg for food does not equate to their overall health and well-being in the long term.