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Tips for the Chubby Kitty

April 5, 2015

Spring is here and I am thinking about the weight I gained over the cold, icy winter here in the 'Burgh. Even my one kitty gained a pound over this past Winter, and who can blame her. But, it is time for her and I to lose this unwanted weight.

Do you have a chubby tabby? An obese beast? A flabby feline?

The average domestic cat should weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. Some Persians may weigh up to 12 pounds, and the large Maine Coon can weigh as much as 25 pounds. However, if your cat isn't one of these larger breeds, don't think that your 12 or 15-pound cat is at a good weight. And just because your cat is "solid" does not mean that it isn't fat.

Each pound that a cat is overweight equates to being 14 pounds overweight for the average human. Cool! That means I am only 3-4 pounds overweight in cat pounds. 🙂

Around 50% of American cats are overweight, with the majority of them residing indoors. (I am not suggesting your cat go outdoors.) The problem is two-fold. 1) When a cat is indoors, they are able to relax and lay still more because they generally do not have predators, unless one of your other household pets keep them on their toes. 2) We feed them too much.

The solution:  If you have a tubby tabby, you need to gently cut back on its food, and remember to cut back on any treats or human food given as well. Most dry kibble is high in carbohydrates (more calories and not quality food). Try incorporating quality canned food in their diet and reduce the dry food accordingly.

I often hear "my cats is always asking for food". What a cat is usually asking for is attention. Make time to play with your cat instead of giving it treats or more food. This will help you and your furry friend burn a few calories, as well as create a stronger love bond for both of you.

As with human weight loss, cut back a little on the food, cut back more on the treats, and increase activity. Most importantly, take your cat to the vet for a checkup before you make any changes to its diet to rule out any medical causes behind your feline's size and to get an accurate weight goal to aim for.

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