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How to Help Your Obese Cat Lose Weight
How to Help Your Obese Cat Lose Weight

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Overweight Cats Symptoms & Problems

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Let’s start by asking – would you realize if your cat needed to cut down? 

You know your cat is purr-fect. It’s fluffy and has a paunchy belly. But so, what? It could also imply that it is perfectly healthy. Naturally, you may not understand if your fluffball is on the portly side. In fact, overweight cats now appear to outnumber those who have a healthy weight. 

Overfeeding your cat is a big no-no. Even a few additional pounds can increase your cat’s risk of developing certain health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. It may even prevent your cat from grooming itself properly. Therefore, keeping your cat in shape is crucial to maintain its health, and help it live longer and happier. Well, the good news is that by making some simple dietary and exercise changes, you can assist your overweight cat in losing weight.


What Are The Risks Of Obesity?

Obesity is becoming more prevalent in cats, just as it is in humans. It can have long-term consequences on a cat's health, quality of life, and body functioning. Therefore, obesity in cats must be addressed immediately, as it is linked to serious health problems. Here are the risks of cat obesity:

  • Compromised Immune System

When your cat becomes overweight, its immune system gets weakened, leaving it more susceptible to infection. This includes urinary infection as well as 'stones,' which are caused in overweight cats because they’re less active, drink less water, and urinate lesser than healthy cats.

  • Diabetes

Around 80% to 90% of obese cats require daily insulin shots as they are more likely to develop diabetes. But, when their excess weight is eliminated, diabetes can often be reversed.

  • Liver Failure

When your cat’s body senses that it is undernourished, for instance, if a regular food supply is interrupted, the fat is moved from reserves into the liver to be used as energy. But a cat’s body is unable to efficiently control this process, resulting in poor liver function and liver failure. 

  • Difficulty In Grooming

Cats with excess weight have a harder time grooming themselves, which can contribute to skin problems.


How Do I Know If My Cat Is Overweight?

  • When gently running your fingers across the side of your cat, you should be able to feel and count its ribs.
  • Then, when you look down at your cat from above, you should observe an hourglass figure. If it looks like a balloon, then your cat is certainly overweight or obese.
  • Finally, you should notice a tiny tuck or upward slope of the tummy when you look at your cat from the side. If the abdomen looks baggy and drags near the ground, that points to the presence of the most harmful and biologically active form of fat, which is abdominal fat.

Here is a chart for you to understand better –
 

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Overweight?

How To Avoid Obesity In Your Cat?

After you get your overweight cat in shape, your goal must be to maintain it for its good health and longevity. Here are some things you should avoid doing to keep your cat from becoming overweight:

  •  Avoid Free-Feeding

You should avoid free -feeding your cat to prevent it from becoming obese. Set up definite feeding times and keep treats to a minimum.
 

 Avoid Free-Feeding

  • Incorporate Outdoor Activities Or Excises Into The Routine

Your cat is at even more risk of becoming overweight if it does not engage in any outdoor activity. To avoid boredom and prevent weight gain, find some interesting toys, set aside playtime, and make it a priority for your indoor cat. Another approach is to go for a walk outside with your cat on a leash.
 

Incorporate Outdoor Activities Or Excises Into The Routine

  • Measure The Servings Each Time

Assess how much cat food your cat truly needs with the advice of your vet, based on your cat's activity level and desired weight. Once you've calculated how much food your cat requires, measure the food for each meal. Remember that cats are little, and while the portion may appear small to you, some extra kibbles can make the difference between maintaining weight and gaining weight.

Measure The Servings Each Time

Loosing weight is difficult for cats. Therefore, the best way is to control their weight before they get obese. 

  • Play Ball!

Another way to help your cat lose weight is to increase her activity. Provide cat 'trees' for climbing or teach your cat to play fetch. Buy or create your own toys that encourage exercise. Many cats enjoy chasing lights from pointers or flashlights. One ingenious owner throws her cat's dry food ration a piece at a time! Many cats enjoy learning to walk on a leash. You also can use your cat's natural hunting instinct to help her lose weight. Hide several small portions of her daily food ration around the house. If you have a multi-level home, make your cat use the stairs. Use your imagination but be cautious. Don't let a fat cat get exhausted, overheated, or out of breath. Also, keep in mind that an old cat may not be able to exercise vigorously.

Use playtime, grooming, stroking, or conversation as rewards instead of food treats. If you cannot resist the fat cat who begs for food at the dinner table, remove the cat during dinnertime. If you have a multi-cat household, the consistent winner of the food competition sweepstakes is often obese. If this is the case, separate the cats at mealtimes if possible.

  • Patience

Obesity is easier to prevent than to cure, but it is never too late to reverse it—though it requires long-term patience and commitment. Helping cats lose weight is a slow process. If the amount they eat is severely restricted, the cat risks other health problems.

Increased activity, behavior modification (for both you and your cat), and calorie restriction are your weapons against feline obesity. However, with all these things, it is important to expect a few setbacks and plateaus. It will take at least four months for an obese cat to lose 15% of her starting weight. At that point, have another look at your cat's body condition and go on from there.

  • Tips For Starting A Weight-Management Program

Always check with your veterinarian first.
Eliminate all food treats.
Divide the daily food portion into several smaller meals.
Feed a diet formulated specifically for weight loss.
Weigh your cat every two weeks.
Cats should not lose more than 1% to 1.5% of initial weight per week.
Be patient and consistent!

 

FAQ On How To Control Your Cat’s Weight

  1. What Are The Symptoms Of Cat Obesity?
  2. The symptoms are:

    • Excessive sitting or lying down with a reluctance to get up and move around. 
    • Loss of a visible waistline. 
    • Hard to feel your cat’s rib bones or hip bones. 

     

  3. How Do You Treat An Obese Cat?
  4. You can treat an obese cat by helping it consume fewer calories. But before that, please consult your vet and understand the amount of weight your cat needs to shed. Also, pair some exercises along with the weight loss diet.

  5. What Causes Cats To Be Overweight?
  6. Obesity in cats is often linked to physical inactivity, overfeeding, long sleeping times, and indoor confinement.

  7. What Should I Feed My Cat To Lose Weight?
  8. You should provide canned food to your cat to help it lose weight. Cats prefer wet food to dry food, which is one of the reasons canned diet foods perform better.

  9. What Happens If My Cat Is Overweight?
  10. If your cat is overweight, it is more likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Excess fat has a negative effect on a cat's health and lifespan. Extra weight also puts strain on your cat's joints, which can lead to arthritis.

  • Anti rabbies Vaccine
    Anti rabbies Vaccine
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    Anti rabbies Vaccine

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    Rabies is a dangerous virus that affects the warm-blooded animal kingdom. It spreads through the bite or starch of an infected animal, making the infection easily transmissible amongst animals and humans alike. Since there is no effective rabies treatment yet, the only solution to combat this fatal virus is through vaccination. Veterinarians recommend anti-rabies vaccine for pets to protect them and their humans from this deadly virus.
     

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccines for cats, in addition to the 4-in-1 cat vaccine. It helps prevent the cases of rabies in cats and kittens, contributing to the overall health of your feline friend. However, before getting your cat vaccinated with rabies injections, it is essential to know a few details about this disease and how to prevent it. So, let’s dive right into it.
     

    How does rabies spread?

    The rabies virus depends on the host body for survival. As the virus cannot survive outside of the host body, it spreads through open wounds and mucous membranes in the eye, mouth, and nose. The virus transmits through the saliva of the infected animal. If a rabies carrier bites or starches your pet, then it too becomes infected with the virus. Typically, the incubation for rabies in cats ranges from a few days to a few years.
     

    Since rabies is a deadly infection, it is imperative that you, as a cat parent, watch out for its symptoms. So, let’s take a look at a few signs of rabies in cats:

    1. Fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Difficulty breathing

    5. Hypersalivation

    6. Difficulty swallowing

    7. Abnormal behaviour

    Curing rabies is not an option post-incubation as there is no proper medication available in the market yet. Hence, keeping this fatal infection at bay is of paramount importance. And how can you do that? By ensuring that your cat is vaccinated with an anti-rabies injection.
     

    Do indoor cats need rabies vaccination?

    Anti-rabies vaccine for cats is a must. Veterinarians monitor rabies shots for both indoor and outdoor cats. While there is a misconception that rabies vastly affects dogs, it can find its way to cats and other warm-blooded animals as well. Cat’s rabies vaccination prepares your indoor kitty to fight the deadly virus. Hence, do not skip on annual booster shots for both indoor and outdoor cats.
     

    While you may think, your indoor cat is safe from the fatal disease, it is best to ensure complete healthcare for its overall well-being. Cats often socialise with outside cats by licking, sniffing, or starching each other. Indoor cats can get the rabies virus if they socialise in this manner with an infected outdoor or stray cat. Anti-rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid any remote possibility of your kitty getting infected. It builds antigens in the cat’s body, so your fur baby can tackle the rabies virus.
     

    How often should cats receive rabies vaccination?

    Various brands offer anti-rabies vaccines for cats in the market. Hence, it is best to seek a veterinarian’s advice regarding  vaccination. They will take multiple factors, such as your kitty’s age, breed, and lifestyle, into consideration before recommending a brand. Similarly, when it comes to the frequency of taking the anti-rabies vaccination, it all depends on the type of vaccine recommended for your pet. If your vet recommends an adjuvant vaccine, your cat might have to be inoculated once every year. On the other hand, if they suggest a non-adjuvant vaccine, you must note that these vaccines are generally administered once in three years. 
     

    When to schedule feline anti-rabies vaccination

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccinations for cats. It prepares your cat to fight the virus by boosting immunity. The first dose of the anti-rabies vaccine is administered once the kitty turns 12 weeks old. After the initial dose, depending on the type of vaccine, you will need to get your feline friend vaccinated either annually or once in three years.
     

    Side effects of the anti-rabies vaccine

    As a cat parent, you must know the potential side effects of this vaccine. So, let’s take a look at them:

    1. Low-grade fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Swelling and redness at the injected site

    Cat parents should monitor not only the anti-rabies vaccine but also other core vaccines like 4 in 1 cat vaccine, FeVac 5, and 3-in-1 cat vaccine. Regular vaccination and annual health check-ups ensure your kitty leads a healthy life. So, ascertain that you provide your fur baby with all the care it requires.