Is your feline buddy starting to look a bit round? Is Fluffy … not just fluffy? If the answer to either (or both) of those questions is yes, read on! A local Boulder, CO vet discusses chubby kitties below.
Obesity affects a large percentage of our feline friends … literally. Some estimates say that almost 60 percent of cats are obese! Fluffy may look adorable with some extra weight, but those additional pounds could be wreaking havoc on her health. Obese pets face elevated risks of developing several serious medical problems, including heart disease, liver and kidney problems, bone/joint issues, skin trouble, reproductive capability, and respiratory issues. They also have shorter life expectancy than fit kitties.
It probably won’t be much of a shock to learn that diet and exercise are the two main factors influencing your cat’s weight. As to the former, you’ll need to be careful with portion control. If Fluffy is getting chubby, yet empties her bowl immediately and then demands more, that pitiful meow could be a lie. Even feeding your furball a little too much every day can cause her to gain weight. As far as exercise goes, well, you probably won’t have much luck getting your pet to run laps around the kitchen. Get her moving with toys and playtime. It’s worth noting that sometimes age or medical issues can contribute to weight gain. If you aren’t sure why your kitty is getting round, contact your vet.
Is Fluffy Fat?
With short-haired kitties, it’s usually pretty easy to tell if they are obese or not. This gets trickier with cats that are fluffy and/or large. One quick test is to feel your cute pet’s ribs … or try to. If you can’t feel them at all, there’s a good chance that your furball is a butterball. If you can feel them under a layer of skin, muscle, and fat, Fluffy may be in good shape. If they’re sticking out, your feline friend could be underweight. Of course, the ultimate authority here is going to be your vet.
Follow your vet’s advice for feeding your furry friend. That includes portion sizes, food brands, and feeding times. Never put Fluffy on a crash diet. That could interfere with her metabolism, which is very dangerous!
As your Boulder, CO animal clinic, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime!