How do I get my Obese Kitty to Loose Weight?

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Our question this week was:

I have a 5-year-old Siamese mix. He is 20.8 lbs He is neutered and an inside house cat. I have started him on weight control dry and wet foods. He presently eats 1 can twice a day and has a free-feed bowl of dry. Is he eating too much? How do I get him to lose weight?

Charmane Donnaway

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Getting cats to loose weight can be very difficult. It is made more difficult because they are sedentary creatures and it can be difficult to get them to "exercise". In addition, cats that are forced to loose weight too quickly can develop a severe disease called Fatty Liver Disease that can be life-threatening.

So, what is the best way to get cats to loose weight? It is the same as us. We should eat less, eat lower calorie foods or exercise more. A combination is probably best. Talk to your vet about the best approach for your cat based on his overall health and any other medical problems.

Often, gradually switching to a less active or weight loss formula food can be helpful. You can even start by missing it in to your cats normal diet. To encourage "exercise", if your cat is in good health, you can try to find toys to engage him and make a schedule that includes playing with him for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you are Obesity in Cats and Choosing the Best Toys for Your Cats Play Preference.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

P.S. Do any of you have other suggestions or tips for helping a kitty loose weight? If so, email me so I can share your story with our users!

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