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.
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.
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 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:
You should avoid free -feeding your cat to prevent it from becoming obese. Set up definite feeding times and keep treats to a minimum.
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.
Measure The Servings Each Time
Assess how much 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.
Loosing weight is difficult for cats. Therefore, the best way is to control their weight before they get obese.
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.
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
- What Are The Symptoms Of Cat Obesity?
- 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.
- How Do You Treat An Obese Cat?
- What Causes Cats To Be Overweight?
- What Should I Feed My Cat To Lose Weight?
- What Happens If My Cat Is Overweight?
The symptoms are:
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.
Obesity in cats is often linked to physical inactivity, overfeeding, long sleeping times, and indoor confinement.
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.
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.
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- adp_description_block493Your Cat’s Language: What Meows, Chirps and Yowls Mean
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Listen up, Mom or Dad, because your feline definitely has something to say. Cats use more than 100 different vocal sounds to communicate. Here are nine of the most common sounds you’ll hear and what your cat’s unique language means.
While your cat’s purrs are usually a sign that they’re happy, comfortable or content, it’s important to point out that your cat might also purr when they are anxious, agitated or sick — because purring soothes them. The key to figuring out if it’s a “worry purr” is to check if their ears are folded back, if they seem tense or if they just aren’t acting normal. (If that’s the case, call the vet and grab the cat carrier.)
Why do cats meow? It’s simple: It’s their way of communicating with us!
Meows are your cat’s most common “word,” and every one means something different. For example, your cat might meow to greet you when you come home, to ask you to open your bedroom door so they can curl up on your pillow, or to say, “I’d like some more tasty kibble.
Chirps and Trills
Chirps and trills are the loving language of cat mothers. Chirps, or chirrups, are staccato, bird-like sounds mother cats use to say to their kittens, “Follow me.” Trills are higher-pitched chirps your cat uses to say hello or “Pay attention to me.” When your cat directs these sounds at you, chances are they want you to give them some love or follow them somewhere, usually to their food or water bowl. (Shocker, LOL.)
If you have more than one feline fur baby, listen closely. You’ll likely hear your cats talk to each other with these sounds.
When your kitty spies an unsuspecting bird or squirrel frolicking outside the window, they might make a chattering sound at it. This distinctive, repetitive clicking noise is caused by a combination of lip smacking and your cat rapidly vibrating their lower jaw. This odd behavior looks like teeth chattering, and a lot of cats also chirp when they chatter.
This clickety sound is thought to be a mix of predatory excitement and frustration at not being able to get to the elusive feathered or furry prize. Some animal behaviorists even think the sound mimics a fatal bite used to break the bones of their prey. Who knew your li’l feline was so ferocious?!
Regardless of the exact reason cats chatter or chirp at birds and other small animals, most feline parents find it fascinating and amusing to watch.
The unmistakable sound of a cat hissing is like a steak hitting a hot skillet, and it can only mean one thing: Your cat feels threatened and will put up a fight if they have to. Just as important as the hissing sound, however, is the cat body language that comes with it. Your cat will flatten their ears, arch their back, puff their fur, twitch their tail and usually open their mouth to flash their fangs — aka the classic defensive pose.
Snarls and Growls
In addition to a hiss, if your cat makes a deep, guttural growlsound, they’re saying, “Back off.” Similar to a dog’s growl, this noise means your cat is annoyed, scared or angry. Some cats even make short, higher-pitched snarl sounds before launching into a full-blown growl.
While these sounds usually signify an unhappy cat, it’s important to note that some cats growl because they’re in pain from an injury or a health problem. If you suspect this is the case, a trip to the vet is in order.
If your feline snarls or growls at you for any reason, though, it’s best to leave your feisty friend alone.
A yowl, or howl, is a long, drawn-out meow that almost sounds like moaning; it’s your cat’s way of telling you they’re worried or distressed, or that they need you. They might have gotten locked in a closet, can’t find you anywhere or, heaven forbid, have discovered their food bowl is empty. Your cat might also yowl when they don’t feel well or when a new neighborhood cat trespasses on their turf.
Whatever the reason, make sure you immediately help your cat whenever you hear a yowl. Trust us — you’ll both be glad you did.
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