Many cat owners think fat cats are adorable. It’s true: who wouldn’t melt in front of those big, chubby balls of hair? However, an obese cat is a cat in danger, exposed to all sorts of health concerns. How to recognize an overweight cat? What is the ideal weight for a cat? What are the causes of obesity in cats ? How to make an overweight cat lose weight? We lift the veil for you.
What are the consequences of obesity in cats?
Cats have lower energy requirements than dogs because they expend less energy. This makes it easier for them to become obese, which has consequences for their health and well-being. A cat that is too fat is exposed to many pathologies that can be fatal:
- heart problems;
- kidney failure;
- joint problems;
- urinary disorders;
- respiratory problems;
- difficulty in moving around.
These disorders all lead to a decrease in the cat’s longevity: an obese cat is 2.7 times more likely to die prematurely than a cat in its ideal weight. It is therefore important to keep your cat in shape so that it does not become obese and fall ill.
How do you know if a cat is overweight?
Do you think your cat is too fat? It seems to have gained weight? It is important to know how to identify an overweight cat. Obesity in cats is fairly easy to spot: when a cat is overweight, it shows! A sagging belly and ribs covered with a thick layer of fat indicate overweight. You can also identify an overweight cat by observing its behavior: fat cats have trouble bathing, difficulty moving, climbing and running.
Are you in doubt? Don’t hesitate to take your cat to the veterinarian for a consultation. After weighing and examining your pet, the veterinarian will be able to tell you if your cat is too big or not. In any case, we also suggest that you weigh your pet regularly every month and record its weight in a booklet. This way, you will easily notice any weight gain.
What is a cat’s ideal weight?
A cat’s ideal weight depends largely on its breed and morphology. The average weight of a European cat is considered to be between 3.5 and 4.5 kg. Males are generally heavier than females. Here are some weight characteristics for the most common cat breeds with a normal weight load:
- Maine coon: 3.6 to 8.2 kg.
- Norwegian: 6 to 11 kg.
- Siamese 3 to 4.5 kg.
- Scottish Fold: 3 to 5 kg.
- Bengal : 3,6 to 6,8 kg.
- Burmese Sacred: 4 to 5 kg.
- Abyssinian : 2 to 4 kg.
- Chartreux: 4 to 7.5 kg.
Note that a cat’s weight also depends on its lifestyle: cats living in an apartment spend less time than cats who go out and are therefore generally fatter.
Why is my cat overweight?
The causes of overweight in a cat are numerous:
- Overeating: cats do not eat like dogs. He consumes small quantities of food throughout the day. Taking away his bowl to give him once or twice during the day goes against his natural eating habits. The cat then consumes more than it needs and stores fat. We therefore advise you to leave him his solid food available throughout the day.
- Inappropriate food: food that is too rich or of poor quality can make your cat gain weight. Don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian to determine which food is best for your cat (depending on his age, physical activity, sex and lifestyle). We advise you to choose low-fat kibbles for sterilized cats.
- Sterilization: the castration of a cat and the sterilization of a female cat influence the weight of the animal. A spayed or neutered cat tends to be hungrier. Fat is also distributed differently in their bodies, which promotes weight gain. A change in diet may be necessary after this type of surgery.
- Lack of physical activity: Cats need to exercise, even when they’re not indoors. If your cat lives in an apartment, you need to provide it with games, climbing and jumping opportunities.
- Breed: Some cats, such as Persians and Chartreux, are more prone to weight gain.
- Stress: Cats are animals that do not take well to changes in their habits. A cat stressed by a move, a death, the arrival of a new animal or by its environment can quickly become obese.
How to make a fat cat lose weight?
The first thing to do is to identify the causes of your cat’s obesity and treat it. You can then modify your cat’s habits and environment to fight against its obesity. You’ll need to work on two main pillars in parallel.
Changing the cat’s diet
A proper diet is essential to help your feline lose weight. You don’t know which kibble to choose? We suggest you discover all our ranges of cat food to find the food that is best suited to your pet’s needs.
Note that changing your cat’s diet radically from one day to the next is a bad idea. Start by mixing your cat’s old food with the new food, then decrease the amount of old food in the ration over several days.
A cat that moves is a cat that stays in good physical and mental shape. So help your cat exercise by increasing his physical activity. Leave toys available at all times to help burn off calories. You also can use an exercise cat wheel. If your cat is not a playful cat, but only a greedy one, you can encourage her to have fun by giving her a treat-dispensing toy. This type of toy will allow him to let off steam for just a few kibbles. Finally, don’t hesitate to play with your pet to encourage it: the feathered rod and fishing rods are very addictive for our companions, who also appreciate playing with their masters.