To achieve significant weight loss, the diet must be changed to a therapeutic veterinary diet specifically designed for weight loss. Simply feeding less of your cat’s regular food is rarely, if ever, successful. Owners must be willing to measure exactly the amount of food offered and minimize treats. If treats are necessary, offer low calorie snacks such as popcorn or a small vegetable.
If your cat has primarily sustained a diet of dry food, check the ingredients. Some dry foods are made up with high-calorie filler in order to keep the price point lower. This type of food is fine for some cats. Like humans, all cats have different levels of activity and metabolism. We all have that friend that seemingly only eats yummy, not-so-healthy foods and rarely works out yet still looks amazing. For cats with high levels of activity and strong metabolisms, dry food offers all the energy they need. However, if you cat has a slow metabolism or if they are not very active, dry food could present the cause of their obesity.
If that’s the case, discuss healthier options for your cat with your veterinarian. Many cats will lose weight by switching to a more natural, wet food diet. Wet food has contains more water and a higher percentage of natural food than dry food. If your cat struggles to stay active or to stay hydrated, then switching to a wet-food diet might be a good idea.
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When it comes to treating your cat’s obesity, you’re going to need to take a patient approach. Weight loss programs can range from 3-6 months to as long as 8-12 months. It’s important for cat owners to stay patient both with the work they have to do in helping their cat lose weight, and with their overweight cat. More than likely in addition to changing your cat’s diet, your vet will instruct you to spend more time playing with your cat to get her heart rate up to burn calories. Learn more about exercising your cat.