So, you've got a tubby tabby that needs to slim down. Getting cats to lose weight can be a bit trickier than dog weight loss, especially if they're indoor cats. While felines that live indoors are safer from predators, they tend to be less active and suffer from things like depression, boredom and obesity. A lot of people try and rationalize their pet's expanding figure by pointing to fur or breed. Yes, they influence appearance, but you need to be honest with yourself and recognize that excess weight shaves years off your pet's life by influencing such things as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and even respiratory disease.
Cat Food & Grazing
The first thing you need to find out from your veterinarian is just how much your cat should be eating every day based on their breed, activity levels and age. Knowing how much food your fur baby actually needs will better help you with limiting their daily caloric intake. Once you know how much to give, stick with it. If you happen to fall into the free feeding category, ask your vet's opinion on the wisdom of it. Leaving food out all day is much more likely to encourage overeating, especially if your cat's bored, which is contrary to your objective.
Quality of Diet
The physical makeup of a feline is designed for processing diets high in protein and low in carbs. Unfortunately, dry food is baked at very high temperatures, cooking a lot of the nutrients out, and it also tends to be higher in carbs, which contributes to weight gain. One of the biggest mistakes cat owners make is giving their pet dry food only. Besides the fact they're obligate carnivores, this can lead to urinary problems and eventually kidney failure later in life. Protein-rich raw or wet food is better. Also, cut out fatty and processed treats.
On the Prowl
Cats are natural hunters. This instinct is buried deep inside and it shows itself every day, even when they're housebound. Take advantage of the hunter in your cat and encourage him or her to go on the prowl by hiding their food in bowls around the house. This challenges them to hunt for their prey, stimulating them mentally and physically. If he or she doesn't find it the first day or two, don't worry, point it out. It shouldn't take long for them to catch on and enjoy the game. Once they have, keep them on their toes by switching it up daily.
No Time Like Playtime
Engaging your cat in playtime can help melt pounds away and keep them off. You can increase your flabby tabby's activity levels with toys like laser pointers, feathers, mice filled with catnip or covered in rabbit fur and filled with tiny beads that make noise. Another toy most cats like are the bat-a-birds, stuffed toys on an elastic string you tie to a doorknob or chair. All these toys motivate them to play and burn calories in the process, keeping your cat mentally and physically stimulated, while providing the two of you a bonding experience.
By following these simple tips your cat should begin to shed the excess weight in no time.