You love your cat or kitten, and your cat loves snacks, so what better way to demonstrate your love to your cat by giving them all the tasty treats they crave? An overweight cat means a lack of exercise and bad food habits. No worries you will learn how to keep your cat in great shape when you finish reading this article.
Many people think like this about their cat, yet the truth is that overfeeding your cat can lead to long-term health condition complications and a shortened life span. A fat cat can also mean a lot of Veterinarians’ bills.
Far too many cats are overfed and under-exercised. This can put your cat’s joints under unnecessary strain, which may cause arthritis. It can also lead to other problems as your cat grows older such as heart problems and general cardiovascular problems, as well as feline diabetes and fatty liver syndrome. Making sure that you exercise your cat should be a priority to get your cat in shape.
As well as all these too many treats can cause a lot of problems for your cat’s teeth, particularly as most cat owners rarely bother cleaning their cat’s teeth. So while you may think you are kind to your cat by giving them lots of extra treats, the reality is that you could be doing them untold damage.
Tip: Find out the ideal weight for your cat with your Vet.
Managing Your Cat’s Diet
Weight management is all about managing food intake, and many cat owners don’t believe that their cat eats too much but rather will insist that their cat has metabolism problems or similar. This is never true. Regardless of any potential metabolism issues, weight can easily be controlled by adjusting portion sizes.
If your cat has put on a few too many pounds, then the simple solution is to reduce their meal portion sizes so that they are consuming fewer calories than they are expending, then weight loss will definitely happen.
As a general rule of thumb, it is probably reasonable to reduce your cat’s calorie intake by about 1/3rd. To do this simply give them a third less cat food than they used to get. Weigh them before you start their diet and weigh them again two or three weeks later if they have not yet lost any weight then further reduce their portion sizes.
The type of food your cat eats can also cause weight problems. Often cheap dry food is bulked out with unnecessary carbohydrates, which your cat doesn’t need in its diet. These can cause weight gain and other related problems.
Cats are obligate carnivores, and this means they need to eat meat to survive, so feeding your cat a carbohydrate-rich plant based-diet is simply not an option. Instead, you should opt for a high protein cat food (these are usually a bit more expensive), which isn’t bulked out with things like rice and other additives.
Be aware that high protein doesn’t necessarily mean low calorie. Cats can still gain weight on a high protein diet if they are fed too much, so remember to control the portion sizes.
If your cat is significantly overweight, then it would be wise to take them to the Vet to be weighed and given a tailor-made diet plan to get them back down to a reasonable size. Your priority should be to keep you cat in shape year round.
Making Sure Your Cat Gets Enough Exercise
Modern domestic cats have it easy, and their wild ancestors could only ever dream of living in comfort with all the kitten food you need right there whenever you want it. Cats weren’t designed to be served their dinner; instead, they are designed to spend hours painstakingly hunting down their meals.
Because most cats don’t have to do this, they can easily put on weight because they are not having to work for their meals and therefore get a very little exercise. Cats are natural; therefore, you need to keep them exercising constantly.
With no need to chase their kitten food, most domestic cats will happily sleep 15 hours a day or more and live largely sedentary lives, doing little more exercise per day than jumping onto a table to sit on your paper!
This can be particularly true if they are kept exclusively indoors where it is warm and comfortable, there is little motivation to do much other than sleep. Conversely, outdoor cats will get at least some exercise climbing up walls, trees, and sheds and chasing birds.
Many people believe that keeping a cat indoors is cruel because it prevents them from exercising their natural hunting instincts and restricts the freedom that cats crave. If you’re concerned about keeping your cat indoors, read this article from Tuxedo Cat, which gives 15 Solid Reasons Why It Is Not Cruel To Keep Your Cat Indoors.
7 Exercises to Keep Your Cats Weight Under Control
Something that every pet owner can do is to train their cat to use a litter box. No matter what cat breed you have, exercises are crucial to keep them in a healthy weight. Whether your cat or kitten is an indoor or outdoor cat here is a list of six quickest and easiest things you can do to keep your cat in shape. You’ll be able to give them some exercise and keep them moving with the following methods:
1. Get an Exercise Wheel
Cat Exercise wheels are an amazing way to help keep indoor cats active. They are effectively giant hamster wheels (albeit better engineered and less noisy), which your cat be taught with a bit of persuasion (catnip and laser pointers help) to run on. They are a great way of preventing weight gain and keeping an indoor cat far happier and healthier than it otherwise would be. If you like the sound of them have a look on YouTube, you won’t regret it. They are super entertaining to watch as they are fun for your cat to go on!
Many cats love catnip to such an extent that one sniff of it will send them rolling on their back and wriggling around in all sorts of shapes.
Ten minutes of catnip use can be an easy way for a cat to get some good exercise without them even realizing it! A quick and super-easy way to get your cat to moe is to fill an old sock with some catnip, tie it to a piece of string and drag it around the room – watch your cat go wild (disclaimer: not all cats react to catnip – though most do)!
3. Cat Tree
A cat tree can be used to provide exercise for cats, if your cat is particularly sedentary find a fairly tall cat tree which has sufficient space for you to leave their food at the top of, this will turn every mealtime into a chance to get at least a small amount of exercise and as we know something is a whole lot better than nothing!
4. Laser Pointer
There are not many distractions that will get any cat sprinting around the house faster than the laser pointer!
The laser pointer can be a great tool for providing your cat with some high-intensity exercise for a few minutes. Some cat owners refuse to use laser pointers because they argue it is cruel as the cat never catches the red dot, a way to deal with this is to finish your cats laser play session with a treat or toy of some sort, so they avoid the frustration of never being able to catch the fabled red dot.
5. Use a Cat Wand
A cat wand is a bendy stick with a small toy attached to it via an elastic string, cats will energetically chase these burning many calories in the process, and it’s also a very entertaining way of playing with your cat, and they’re extremely cheap too! Cheap way for your cat to lose weight.
6. Make Your Cat Hunt for Its Food
Leaving your cat’s food hidden around your house will definitely cause your cat to be much more active. It will also replicate the experience of hunting for them, so it is good for both their physical and mental health and is one of the easiest ways of encouraging them to be active. Remember that cats should hunt for their foods; it is in their nature. However, a cat won’t hunt for food if you feed them constantly.
Tip: Use a ping pong ball to train your cat to hunt in your home, and keep your cat in shape this way.
7. Create a Hockey Rink
To keep your cat entertained and doing exercise in your home, you can create a hockey rink using your bathtub or a cardboard box. Simple and cheap way to get some laughs watching your cat behaviors while they chase balls around the corners off the walls. Overall a great way to keep your cat fit and healthy.
8. Encourage your Cat to Go Outside to Play Stalk and Chase
Don’t have time in your schedule or budget to do any of the previously mentioned things? Then an obvious solution is to encourage your cat to spend a good few hours outside every day – this will massively help in improving your cat’s health. However, be aware if you live on a busy road, then this isn’t a good idea.
Allowing your cat to roam freely outside, it is a good idea to make sure he can be seen with a reflective collar. Reflective cat collars come in bright colors and are made from rubber-like materials that are smell proof (no stink) and water-resistant.
Some brands even allow you to personalize the collar’s tag by engraving your cat’s name and your phone number. Having an ID tag attached to your cat’s collar means he has a better chance of getting home if he is ever lost.
If you are still worried about letting your cat go outside, you could also get a microchip compatible cat flap, which you can set to only allow your cat outside during daylight hours, so there is less danger of your cat coming to harm. Stalk and chase is a simple way to keep you cat in shape.
Wrapping It Up
We hope you have found this article of some use and that it helps your cat meet his or her feline weight loss goals. Please remember if your cat has a serious weight problem, it is always a good idea to consult with a vet as excessive weight gain may mean that they have developed joint issues, which could cause some of the activities mentioned to cause long term joint damage.
A neutered cat is supposed to live longer according to some experts. However, dealing with an overweight adult cat can significantly affect the life span of your loved one. Make sure your lovely cat exercises and managed the amount of food or cat treats to keep the cat healthy. Using a ping pong ball to train cats to hunt is a fun way to spend time with your kitties.
All the above-mentioned exercises can keep your cats fit and healthy year-round. Exercising is crucial for your pets health. We try our best to provide pet insurance information, so your bills at the care center do not pick your pocket. Also, for dog food, dog care, and cat care tips for keeping your pets in shape, follow our latest posts. Now you know how to keep your cat in great shape.
Last Updated on 04/02/2020 by Karen Snow
Hi! I’m Karen and a certified dog lover. As a freelance writer and blogger, I do my best to squeeze in some time with my dogs, learning more about the way they act and how I can make sure that they continue to stay well-cared for by yours truly.
My dogs have helped me through a lot, and this is my way of giving back to them! Besides animals, I also love to travel and cook, having explored my country’s restaurants and unique places. Follow me as I show you all the amazing tips and bits of information I learn along the way about our furry friends!