Any cat owner will tell you there is nothing cutest than seeing a cat stretching or just lounging on a sofa. Even if we see it struggling to get up there, again the first reaction is “aww, look at its cute efforts”. Unfortunately, as it is with humans, being overweight, or worse, obese, is far from cute. Health problems such as diabetes, cardiac issues or arthritis, just to name the major ones, are proven to be directly related to excess weight.
Recent research from veterinary experts shows that as much as 50 percent of all domestic cats are obese. This alone is very worrisome information, but, how have our favorite pets become part of this statistic? Basic reason is very simple. When a person or a cat consumes more calories than it burns in daily activities, fat gets stored and problems with weight arise. Since we feed our cats, they don’t have to engage in their natural hunting activities to obtain food. This alone doesn’t necessarily have to lead to cat’s weight problems – younger cats compensate with other activities, however, as the cat becomes older, its life naturally becomes more sedentary and this is when most of the weight issues arise.
There are several guidelines on what to do to help your cat solve overweight problems. First step is a veterinary exam to determine how big a problem you are facing. It’s always important to know how healthy is your cat at the moment and the vet will look and test for problems that are directly related to your cat’s diet and weight. The second very important thing you should know is that, unlike us, cats can develop potentially fatal fatty liver condition if they lose weight rapidly. So, this is why you will need to start making dietary and feeding changes gradually.
Veterinary will usually recommend you to switch feeding your cat with dry food, once he or she determines your cat needs to shed some weight. Today, there is several dry cat food brands designed precisely for this purpose, usually known as ‘lite’ or senior dry cat foods. Here are some of the best known:
- Wellness CORE Dry Cat Food. Since cats lack enzymes needed for grain digestion, this cat food absolutely suits their needs. It’s completely grain-free, but also free of additives and preservatives. Proteins come from de-boned turkey and chicken, but essential fats and minerals are here, too. Know more about Wellness Cat Food Food.
- Innova EVO Weight Management Dry Cat Food. This dry food is based primarily on ground chicken and turkey, but it also includes fruits and vegetables. So, carbohydrates are low, but your cat still gets all the proteins, vitamins and minerals it needs. Check more Innova EVO grain free cat food.
- Natural Balance Original Ultra® Reduced Calorie Formula for Cats. This cat food is based on chicken and duck meat and it’s free of artificial preservatives. Instead, vitamin E is included to keep the food fresh, as well as nutritious.
- Evolve Dry Cat Food. Not only is Evolve dry cat food meat based (chicken), but it also contains brown rice, blueberries and cranberries so your cat will get fiber, vitamins and nutrients it needs.
- Felidae Cat and Kitten Grain Free Formula. Felidae dry food contains combination of protein from chicken, turkey, lamb and fish and comes with no corn or soy fillers. Also, it has added enzymes that help break down cellulose so your cat can get more fiber for better digestion.
When comparing dry cat food brands, you should always read the labels to make sure it contains a good ratio of animal proteins, as well as vitamins, fiber and micro-nutrients. Even though it might be necessary to have your beloved cat on the diet, you will have to try your best not to succumb to that cute look when it gets hungry. So, to make things easier for both of you, instead of just having morning and evening meal, give your feline friend several smaller portions through the day. Obviously, when your cat is trying to lose weight, leaving a bowl of food for “free feeding” is not a good idea. This new feeding plan might be hard both for you and your pet cat, but just remember – in the end, healthy cat is all that matters.