Weight gain in cats can creep up unnoticed. However, it has been apparent for some time now that both of these cats are seriously overweight. My goal for 2009 is to help them gradually reach a healthy weight. I've written a Safe Weight Control for Cats article. Now it's time to put my money where my mouth is.
Excess weight is dangerous for cats. It can lead to feline diabetes, hypertension and other heart problems, and arthritis. At 7 years for Jaspurr and almost 6 for Billy, they are both middle-aged in cat years.
Here's Our Plan for a Safe Weight Loss for my Cats:
- No Free-Feeding of Dry Food
A quality no-grain dry food will be given once a day; one cup to be shared among three cats (Joey is of an ideal weight)
- Premium Canned Food 3T/Day
One 5-oz can to be shared in each meal among the three.
- Allowed Snacks Limited
All our cats are very fond of albacore tuna flakes. Billy will eat an entire can in one day, if allowed.
- NO People Food
More about that in Step 2.
- A Daily Exercise Play is a Priority
Indoor cats need extra exercise to maintain muscle and joint tone. Although our large two-story house has plenty of room to run and jump, these cats need more exercise in the form of interactive play.
- First Step: A Veterinary Appointment
Our cats are all due for their annual exams. We will take this opportunity to discuss our planned weight reduction program and for the initial weigh-in.
- Make Sure All Humans are Aboard
Without the cooperation of everyone in your household, your plan cannot succeed.
- Weekly Weigh-Ins
Overweight cats who lose weight too rapidly are at risk for Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, aka Fatty Liver Disease, a potentially fatal condition of the liver.