It’s estimated that almost half of domestic cats are overweight. Weight control for cats is one of the most important things for ensuring a cat’s long-term health and wellbeing.
A cat’s sedentary lifestyle, over-feeding and too many treats can all have negative side effects on their weight. How cats interact with each other is also a factor – cats are territorial and competition between them can lead to over-eating.
Here are our top three tips for weight control for cats in Idaho Falls.
1. Control fat and calories. Controlling fat and calories is the best way to help a cat lose weight from a dietary standpoint. In most cases, feeding a diet that provides 60% to 70% of the calories needed to maintain your pet’s current body weight is a safe starting point for weight control for cats in Idaho Falls. A veterinarian can help determine if a diet is working for a specific cat.
Feed your cat a dry food formulated for weight control for cats in Idaho Falls. These foods contain sufficient levels of nutrients while limiting calories and fat. Many are also higher in fiber, in part, because fiber can add to the cat’s sense of fullness. Weight management formulas work best in single-cat homes, or homes with multiple cats that need to lose weight.
2. More play, less treats. Studies show that owners of normal and overweight cats indicate that owners of healthy weight cats played with their cats more often than those of overweight cats. Introducing new toys and games into the cat’s daily routine can eliminate boredom, reduce tension in multi-cat households, improve coordination and help cats bond with their human family.
Try catnip or honeysuckle to perk up a cat’s interest in a toy. Catnip and honeysuckle contain sweet-smelling compounds that between 50% and 80% of cats are sensitive to. Cats that do not respond to catnip often respond to honeysuckle. Refreshing toys with these aromatic compounds can keep a cat interested and entertained.
3. Create an enriching environment. This means making our homes friendlier to a cat’s natural behaviors in ways that increase activity and decrease stress. Stress can be a factor that leads to weight gain. Here are a few ideas on how to create an environment that stimulates cats to actively engage in natural behaviors.
- Add new things to the environment, as new objects might help increase activity and decrease stress. Empty boxes make great new playgrounds, and hideouts. Many cats respond to the crinkly noise an empty paper bag makes when they pounce on it. Tubes from paper towel and toilet paper rolls are also fun for cats.
- Create vertical spaces – they are very important to cats. Cats tend to feel safe when they can retreat to elevated spaces. This is especially important in multi-cat households, or homes with both cats and dogs. Adding a tall, sturdy cat post to a commonly-used area of the home is an effective way to add fun, safe vertical spaces for cats.
- Provide several feeding areas in households with more than one cat. An overweight cat, in a multi-cat home, is often the cat dominating the food. Feeding cats close together can sometimes make this problem worse. If possible, feed each cat in a separate room.
Weight control for cats in Idaho Falls is a vital part of maintaining their overall health, so don’t leave it to chance – call our office today to schedule your feline friend’s next appointment!