As an owner of two cats, one who is 18, yes EIGHTEEN, pounds, I can say that I know the struggle of having a fat cat. In this article, Dr Becker gives some amazing tips on how to slim down your chubby cat and help them live a long and healthy life. Just because you have an indoor cat doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the proper diet and exercise abilities to keep them at a proper, healthy weight.
Diet and Exercise Tips for Fat Cats
- First things first. In order to slim down an overweight cat, you must feed aportion controlled, balanced, species-appropriate diet. In my experience, most overweight cats are fed a dry diet and are often free-fed, which means they’re grazing day and night on food that is keeping them fat. If your cat is still eating kibble, she’ll need to be slowly and safely transitioned to the right nutrition for her species: a moisture dense, preferably fresh diet. Not only will a better diet help with weight loss, it will make your feline companion much healthier overall. For detailed information on how to make the switch: Valuable Tips for Helping Your Heavy Cat.
- Next, make sure your kitty has at least one thing to climb on in your home, like a multi-level cat tree or tower. If he’s willing to use it, he’ll get some good stretching, scratching and climbing time in each day – even when you’re not around. Every time you see him gazing down at you from atop his tree, you know that at least he got off the couch!
- It’s important to keep in mind that your cat has a very limited attention span. Consider investing in a laser toy, either a very inexpensive, simple one or something more sophisticated like the FrolicCat. Many kitties will maniacally dive around chasing the beams or dots from these toys.
- You’ll also want to invest in a few interactive cat toys. To pick the best ones, consider things from your pet’s point of view. She’s a hunter, so when choosing toys and activities to engage her, think in terms of appealing to her natural instincts to stalk and bring down prey. For example, if you have a cat toy like Da Bird, make it land and take off like the real thing. To keep her interest, every so often have the bird land on a tasty treat and let your cat discover it when she pounces on her prey.
- Also keep some low-tech interactive toys on hand, like a piece of string you drag across the floor, ping-pong balls, or bits of paper rolled into balls. Any lightweight object that can be made to move fast and in unexpected directions will entice almost any cat to chase after it. Your cat will tell you when he’s had enough, and you shouldn’t expect one game with one toy to go on for very long. Cats in the wild stalk prey for only a few minutes at a time and then move on.
- A little scheme I came up with for my own cats is to use mealtime as another opportunity to exercise them. I put their food in bowls, but rather than put the bowls down for them right away, I walk around the house with them. Of course, the kitties follow right along. After a few minutes of walking around the house, I begin stopping from time to time to hand out small bits of raw food from the bowls. Then we continue our march through the house and up and down the stairs. I can keep my cats moving for about 20 minutes this way because they are fixated on those bowls of food. They run along beside me, weave around my ankles, scoot ahead of me, turn and run back, stretch up toward their bowls, hop around on their back feet, and get a fairly good little workout before I put the bowls on the floor and let them finish eating.
- Now this idea might be kind of “out there” for some of you, but have you ever considered feline agility? Believe it or not, agility competitions for catsdo exist! Of course, many kitties want nothing to do with these events, but I think feline agility competitions can give us some good ideas for activities we can try at home to get our own cats moving. This series of short videosfrom the Cat Fanciers’ Association offers some great tips on how to get your cat involved in agility training — either around your house or in actual competition. The videos also provide lots of ideas for what types of obstacles make sense for kitties and how to find them around your house, or make them, and also where to buy them.
Source: Dr. Mercola Healthy Pets