Creating A Weight Reduction Plan For Cats | VCA Animal Hospitals

Weight passing is tough for anyone – two- or four-legged ! however, losing weight and getting in shape can not only add years to your cat-o’-nine-tails ‘s biography, but it can besides make those supernumerary years more enjoyable. Helping your furred feline to shed a few pounds may be easier than you think. It just requires a commitment to weight loss and fitness, attention to details, and the aid of your veterinarian healthcare team. avoiding_feline_obesity

Why should my cat lose weight?

american samoa little as two pounds above the ideal consistency weight can put your vomit at risk for developing some good aesculapian conditions. unfortunately, when a kat is corpulence or corpulent it no longer is a question of if your cat will develop a condition secondary to the excess weight, but how soon and how serious. Some of the common disorders associated with surfeit burden include :

  • type 2 diabetes – an obese cat is three times more likely to develop this serious disease than a cat of normal weight
  • heart disease
  • osteoarthritis (arthritis)
  • increased frequency of joint injuries
  • high blood pressure
  • some forms of cancer – especially intra-abdominal cancers

Overweight and corpulent cats normally have shorter lives than their fit, normal burden counterparts do. Heavy cats tend to physically interact less with their families and are less energetic and playful. Because they tend to lie about more, it is easier to overlook early signs of illness, since we may attribute their inanition to their normal laziness. We are precisely now learning how serious and threatening a few extra pounds can be for both humans and our cuddlesome companions.

How should I begin a weight loss program for my cat?slimcat_side_view_orange_2018-01

theoretically, weight loss seems simple adequate : fewer calories in plus more calories out equals weight personnel casualty. unfortunately, it is not a childlike as that. You should never put an corpulent big cat on a diet without veterinarian supervision .

“If cats do not eat for as little as two consecutive days, they can develop a life-threatening form of liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis.”

The vomit ‘s physiology is different than humans or dogs and if they do not eat for equally fiddling as two straight days, they can develop a dangerous shape of liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis ( besides called fatso liver syndrome ). Your veterinarian will perform a physical examen of your computerized tomography, and will probably recommend some diagnostic testing to ensure that there are no underlie diseases or obstacles to weight loss for your computerized tomography .

How much should I feed my cat to promote weight loss?fatcat_side_view_orange_2018-01

In holy order to answer this question, your veterinarian will examine your kat to determine its ideal body weight unit, based on its body size and build. Formulas and charts have been developed to assist your veterinarian in determining this slant, arsenic well as the phone number of calories required to achieve it safely .
In cosmopolitan, the average domestic kat should weigh approximately 8-10 pounds ( 3.6-4.4 kilogram ). Based on your cat ‘s degree of fleshiness, your veterinarian may recommend an initial target slant that is higher than the ideal weight. For example, if your guy is 18 pounds ( 8.2 kilogram ), you can calculate its ideal slant to be 10 to 12 pounds ( 4.4-5.5 kilogram ), but a more realistic initial finish may be 15 pounds ( 6.8 kilogram ). After the cat loses this system of weights, a re-evaluation will be made to determine whether promote weight loss is needed .
here are some general guidelines for casual calorie needs based on your cat-o’-nine-tails ’ randomness system of weights :

Ideal weight (lbs) Calories (kcal) required to meet 80% RER per day
 8 180
10 210
12 230

Note: This is a general guideline only and is not meant as a substitute from your veterinarian’s specific recommendations. If your cat fails to lose weight on this amount of calories, the total will need to be reduced further.

“The amount of food that is necessary to provide this number of calories will depend on the calorie content of the food.”

The measure of food that is necessary to provide this number of calories will depend on the calorie content of the food. For system of weights loss formula available through your veterinarian, this information will be on the pronounce, and a member of your veterinary healthcare team will help you determine the appropriate total to feed. If you choose to use an alternate source of food that does not have this information on the tag, you will need to contact the manufacturer to get it .
For many cats, the best way to lose weight is with a canned diet food fed respective times per day, preferably than leaving food down all of the time. One of the reasons canned diet foods work well is because finical felines much prefer wet food to dry .
Eating meals rather than nibbling all day long discourages eating out of boredom or barely for the sake of eating. It is vital that you count calories and measure the measure fed when entering into a burden reduction program. Feeding besides much will result in no slant loss and feeding excessively small can result in unplayful health consequences such as liverwort lipidosis .

What makes veterinary weight loss diets special?

There are a numeral of system of weights control diets available at darling stores that work well for a cat who alone needs to lose a modest total of weight unit. however, these diets are much not adenine effective as veterinarian burden personnel casualty diets if a caterpillar needs to lose a significant amount of weight or if your vomit has other aesculapian conditions. not all weight loss strategies work for every kat, so there are many different diets to address this. Some burden loss diets, such as Purina Proplan OM® and Royal Canin® Calorie Control, are high protein, low carbohydrate, others such as Royal Canin® Satiety and Hills® Prescription Diet w/d have high fiber content to help the vomit feel more fully and catch beg for food. Some newer weight unit personnel casualty diets, such as Hills® Prescription Diet Metabolic, use specific nutrients that can promote increase metabolism, helping cats burn calories more quickly. Your veterinarian will be able to advise the best weight loss diet for your computerized tomography ’ s particular situation .

How quickly should I introduce the new reducing diet to my cat?cat_food_dish

When you are introducing a new diet to your cat, you should allow three weeks for the transition. First, offer humble amounts of the new diet in a divide bowl. If your kat is a finical eater it may take 2-3 weeks for your computerized tomography to decide to eat it. once your big cat is eating the new diet, start by mixing ¼ of the new diet with ¾ of the erstwhile diet for two to four days. increase to half-and-half for another two to four days and then give ¾ of the newfangled diet assorted with ¼ of the old diet for a final three to five days before completely switching to the new diet .
To enhance the palatability of the diet food, try warming the food, adding a flavorer such as FortiFlora® ( a probiotic with spirit foil ), a small sum of pink-orange or tuna juice, or an omega-3 fatty acid fatso acid supplement .
If your computerized tomography refuses to eat the new diet, or if you have any concerns during this initial introduction time period, do not hesitate to contact the veterinarian clinic for advice .

What suggestions do you have to encourage my cat get more exercise?

In an ideal universe, we would take a jog with our cats, but we surely do not live in that world. Getting our cats to engage in aerobic activity is not precisely unmanageable – it goes against their very nature. Cats were not designed to function as scavengers and cooperative hunters the means humans and dogs evolved. rather, cats evolved as stalkers who expended very little department of energy in seeking their raven and rarely strayed far from their district. When cats come across prey, they burst into an intensely anaerobic and short-duration pursuit. Most wild cats pursue their prey at top accelerate for less than a minute. once this bodily process is complete, they require hours to recover for the following hunt .
Our domestic cats are merely smaller versions of these wilderness felines. While we may take our dogs out for a brisk walk or nudge, few cats are interest in this sort of natural process. Cats prefer the hundred-yard dash to the marathon. To complicate matters further, cats have evolved to eat a diet based on kernel as opposed to humans and dogs that can get their nutritional needs from a combination of vegetables and meats .

“Since cats are obligate carnivores, the dietary rules for people do not apply.”

Since cats are oblige carnivores ( meaning they eat meat out of biological necessity ), the dietary rules for people do not apply. many cats will lose weight unit more effectively on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet for this reason .
You will need to use your ingenuity and creativity to convince your chunky cat-o’-nine-tails to get more drill. Some simple ideas include :

  • Moving the food bowl to different locations in the house, such as upstairs or downstairs and rotate it so that the cat always has to walk to get to its food bowl. Cats are smart and if the food bowl moves upstairs, they will move upstairs to find it.
  • Moving the food bowl as far away from your cat’s favorite haunts as possible. Again, many overweight cats will sleep and lounge around near the food bowl so they do not have to go far to get a snack.
  • Better yet – do not use a cat bowl for any dry food! Invest in special ‘feeding balls’ that require your cat to roll them around in order to get pieces of food as a ‘reward’. With these interactive objects, you fill them with a specific amount of dry food and it is up to the cat to work at getting the food out! You can also throw their food to them to make them chase it at meal times. 
  • Set aside play times for your cat. Use feather toys, laser pointers, paper or foil balls, or anything else that your cat finds interesting to chase. Try to play with your cat for ten minutes twice a day. You can do this while you eat, watch television, or even read. Some of the numerous toys that move and squeak may be entertaining to your cat. For many cats, variety is important, since what is exciting today may be boring tomorrow. Make sure to follow up any laser pointer play with a small treat as some cats get frustrated not catching anything.

See the handout “ Exercising Your Cat for Weight Loss ” for extra ideas on exercising your kat .

How often should my cat come in for a recheck or weigh-in? cat-scale

After you have put your computerized tomography on a weight loss program, it is critical that you determine if it is working for your kat. In general, your guy should be weighed at least monthly until the ideal weight is achieved .

“Each cat is an individual and may require adjustments in the recommended diet or routine before finding the correct approach.”

Each caterpillar is an individual and may require adjustments in the recommend diet or routine before finding the right approach. The finish is by and large to lose 1-2 % body weight per week. Weight loss that occurs faster than this can result in severe liver disease ( hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver syndrome ). If there is no significant weight loss within one month ( typically about one pound or 0.5 kilogram ), then the program will need to be modified. sometimes making only a slight change can deliver significant improvements .

When my cat is hungry, she pesters me until I feed her. Do you have any suggestions?

It is much easier to give in to the kat that wakes you at four in the dawn to be fed or the vomit that meows constantly or head butts you until you feed them. These cats have trained us well and know precisely which buttons to press when it comes to getting their way. here are some tips for handling the annoying Persian or the insatiate thai :

  • Do not use a self-feeder. While this seems obvious, auto-feeders are nothing more than unlimited candy machines to an overweight cat.
  • If you do use an automatic feeder, use one that opens with a timer. This way you can measure out the proper amount and divide it into daily meals.
  • Pet your cat or play with her when she begs for food. Many cats substitute food for affection so flip the equation and you may find that playtime displaces mealtime.
  • Feed small meals frequently – especially give a last feeding for those cats that like to wake you up in the wee hours begging for more goodies – divide the total volume or calories into four to six smaller meals. Whatever you do, do not feed extra food.
  • Offer fresh water instead of food. If your cat is eyeing the empty food bowl, a drink of cold, fresh water may satisfy that craving.

I have more than one cat, but only one is overweight. How can I feed them different foods?

While you may come up with more creative solutions to this problem, here are a few suggestions to start :

  • Feed the cats separately – this is the ideal solution for multi-cat households. Feed the overweight cat her diet in one room while feeding the other cat her food elsewhere. After allowing them to eat for a specific time, generally fifteen to thirty minutes, remove any uneaten food until the next feeding.
  • Feed the normal weight cat up high where the overweight cat cannot go.
  • Depending on the size discrepancy between your cats, you can devise different ways to allow the smaller cat access to food where the larger cat cannot fit. You can use a safety chain or hook and eye closure on a door, so the door opens just enough for the thin cat to get in. Alternatively, you can use a large box and cut two small doors in it to allow the smaller cat in to eat.
  • There are now commercial feeding stations that only open when it recognizes your cat’s microchip!
  • Never leave food out while you are away. You cannot control who eats what when you are not around.

How long will my cat need to be on a diet?

Most cats will achieve their ideal weight within six to eight months. If the procedure is taking longer than this, something needs to be changed. A healthy weight loss would be close to one ram per month. Some cats may need to go slower while others may shed the pounds more quickly .

“Most cats will achieve their ideal weight within six to eight months.”

For most cats, the privy to weight loss is a dedicated, committed, and implicated family. Cats do not understand that their surfeit slant is causing them damage. It is up to us as dear stewards to protect them from harm and not unwittingly contribute to their premature death or development of debilitating diseases. together, you and your veterinarian healthcare team can help your guy achieve a goodly body slant and condition safely and successfully .

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