Categories : Cat Health
Let's start at the beginning: does your cat really need to diet ? We do not speak here of aesthetic criteria (kitty does not need to be the best in bikini this summer on the beach ...) but objective elements to keep it healthy. A cat is considered to be overweight when he exceeds its ideal weight by 15-20% and is in a situation of obesity above 30%. But this "ideal weight" will be different for each cat, depending on its breed, body type, etc.
To determine if your cat is too big, you can first see his silhouette on his profile: it must have a slightly hollowed shape, with a curve between the rib cage and the hind legs. You can also pass your hands on its flanks: it is necessary that without pressing you can guess his ribs and spine. But the safest is to take Kitty to his veterinarian. He will be able to determine if your cat is too big and check if his weight gain is not related to an illness. He will also help you develop a slimming strategy tailored to your pet.
To make your cat lose weight, you should absolutely avoid a diet that is too brutal. If you drastically reduce his usual meals, you risk the famous "yoyo effects" but you are mostly increasing your chances to make Kitty completely crazy ! Cats are often difficult with food and do not like to have their habits changed. Their metabolism may also not support a constrained fasting and a sudden deprivation of food may stress them.
The weight loss of your cat should therefore be gradual and take a long time. You can first reduce and then remove the treats that you may have been used to giving him. Change his food slowly to decrease the caloric intake. For this, prefer a food that is lower in carbohydrates and lipids and more rich in protein and fiber (read the labels carefully !). Finally, you can split kitty’s meals into several small portions (6 to 10) distributed throughout the day.
Less calories and more sport: this is the key to any successful diet, both for humans and felines! To make your cat lose weight, it will be necessary to try to make him exercise more. But be careful, here too things must be progressive: you can’t transform kitty into a competitive athlete overnight !
Try to organise small game sessions of about ten minutes each day with your cat (with a catch ball, a string to pursue, etc.). You can also "catify" your apartment so that Kitty moves more when you are not there: for example by installing a cat tree or transforming your shelves into a perch for cats.
One last tip: use a "fun" kibble dispenser. There are different shapes (balls, cylinders), which you can buy or make yourself. You can put the daily ration of your cat, who will have to play with it to release the food one by one. A good way to reduce a little access to kitty’s food while making him move more !