There are many reasons to keep your cat at a healthy weight throughout their whole lives (all, eight of them!). Cats that are kept on a proper diet and partake in physical activity on a routine basis are generally healthier and experience less medical issues. Another reason to support a healthy weight for your cat is that it can help prevent arthritis as your cat ages.
In America today, it’s quite apparent that we have a weight issue and these traits are oftentimes passed along to our pets. Recent studies support evidence stating that almost 60 percent of cats are medically considered to be overweight. With all of the extra weight that these cats are forced to carry, it’s no surprise that their joints pay for it in the long run. Of the estimated 43 million overweight cats in America, 35 percent of cats with arthritis are in this group.
At Los Banos Veterinary Clinic, we know that this excess weight is an issue for young cats that can turn into a larger problem as cats age. That’s why we like to stop this cycle early-on and help pet owners adopt proper habits.
Here are some tips for helping your cat maintain a healthy weight, thus lowering the chances of suffering from arthritis as senior pets:
Work with your veterinarian to choose a proper diet.
This is oftentimes the most common and effective way of keeping pets at a healthy weight. Most pet owners unknowingly feed their pets the wrong foods, which in turn cause unwanted side effects. Our staff is happy to consult you on the proper food brands, techniques and feeding schedules unique to your cat.
Change your feeding routine.
It’s easy to just pour food into a bowl and let your cat eat at his or her leisure. Unfortunately, most cats don’t know when to stop and can visit the bowl out of sheer boredom or habit rather when they are truly hungry. In the wild, cats are used to eating when they have caught their meal, which is likely one to two times a day. Therefore, pet owners should adopt that natural timing and feed cats to meals a day with a set portion size determined by your veterinarian.
Schedule routine exams with your veterinarian.
As your cat ages, his or her needs are going to change and their eating habits need to evolve to meet their new health requirements. Senior cats have foods that can help with weight management in addition to a handful of other conditions. By scheduling routine exams, your veterinarian to work with you to make sure that your pet’s unique needs are being met.
With cat obesity on the rise, it’s important to take preventative measures today to ensure that your cat is set up for success in later years of life. While we know there will be a few treats and spoils, we want to remind cat owners that the habits adopted today will help your cat feel his or her best in the future.
If you want to discuss proper feeding schedules or would like more healthy, weight-management tips, please give Los Banos Veterinary Clinic a call today!