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How to Slim Down an Overweight Cat

Some studies indicate that over half of all domestic cats are overweight—if your feline friend falls into that category, you’ll need to slim her down to avoid dangerous and costly health problems in the future. Read on as a Broken Arrow veterinarian tells you how.

Diet

The vast majority of obesity cases in cats are caused by a high calorie intake and not enough exercise. You must determine your cat’s caloric needs in order to keep her weight under control. Consult your veterinarian about this, and ask for a recommendation on a diet plan that will keep her healthy without packing on the pounds. Don’t overfeed—give your cat several smaller meals throughout the day, and never leave food out all the time for your pet to consume as she pleases.

Exercise

All cats need their exercise, and it’s especially important for those who need to slim down. Regular exercise will burn calories, increase your cat’s resting metabolic rate, and change the overall body composition. Play with your cat daily, getting her to move around. You can try using toys like laser lights, enticing your cat to chase a laser insect that she can’t hope to capture. Almost all cats enjoy pieces of string or yarn, too—just don’t leave them lying around after playtime, because a cat could accidentally swallow it.

Limit Treats and Table Scraps

Another contributor to obesity is an overabundance of treats. Don’t slip your cat a treat whenever you feel like it—it’s best to use them only as rewards or training tools. Too many treats only pack empty calories into your cat’s diet. Ask your Broken Arrow veterinarian about healthier treat alternatives. Some products boast digestive health advantages, or help promote healthy skin and fur.

Don’t feed your cat a lot of fatty table scraps, either—not only will it contribute to obesity, too much human food might upset your cat’s stomach and lead to diarrhea or other health concerns.

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