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Losing the cat weight


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My family has had a cat for about 8 years - and the cat is 8 yrs old - and he's about 16.5 pounds, which is in the big side for him! Doctor also says he's completely healthy, but does have a very small heart murmur... I was wondering, other than changing his food, what can we do physically to get him moving to lose some weight? He used to love chasing stuff on a string, but now he just lays around. Any suggestions?

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Unlike a dog who will chase the same thing every day for YEARS... cats are little more selective.


You have to be very creative when it comes to exercising your cat and frankly if he is overweight - he has less stamina.


It's hard to know HOW overweight your cat is - you are talking pounds. Google Purina and Body Condition Score in cats. This is similar to what BMI is in people... just specifically talking about pets.


Obesity is a disease that so often is NOT addressed by vets. One - often attitude of the client... not getting the client to recognize that there is a problem and Two - its often hard to talk about when the client clearly suffers the same problem without trying to offend. But it so needs to be addressed!


Bottom line - NOT ENOUGH EXERCISE and being overfed.


Keep in mind that your neutered, completely indoor housecat who lounges most of the day does not need a high number of calories.


Some foods have 400 cal/cup and some 240/cup - so know what you are feeding. ASK your vet to figure a calorie number for you pet - or try googling Chubby Chart I think there is one there... Stick to your calories!!!! If you are using an over the counter diet food and NOT seeing results try using a prescription one - Hills M/D is designed to be a high protein low carb diet which works best with the cats metablolism. Weigh your pet every 2 weeks... if you are not losing - talk to your vet.


Exercise - this is where you need to get creative! Laser pens and toys on rods which can be dangled are best. I've had people put the food/water on one floor and the litterbox on another for forced exercise. A paperbag left out on occasion with a treat or cat nip in a surprise location might also increase activity.


Under no circumstance are you to starve your cat. Reducing the calories too dramatically just slows metablolism... and no calories at all puts the cat at risk for hepatic lipidosis which can be difficult to manage and sometimes fatal.


Purina did a study in labradors - those which maintained lean body mass lived 2 years longer... Good Luck!

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The best way to get weight off a pet is to feed them the proper prescription diet food until they reach their correct weight, then they can go back to their normal food. You have to measure their food too to make sure they aren't getting too much, and can't leave dry food out all day like some people do.


Also, you may be giving too many treats. If you give treats, break them up into smaller pieces and still give them, but in tinier amounts.


Pets complain while on diets, but so do we!

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