With the holiday season behind, most of us have already started thinking about our waistline and diet.

Some of us have even taken action and renewed our gym membership, and have started a diet, in order to fit into our favorite breezy clothes once spring comes. While there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the New Year’s Resolution regarding weight loss, this should get you thinking about your pet’s weight as well.

Obesity in cats is a serious issue

It could be the convenience offered by canned pet food, but veterinarians warn that cat obesity in on the rise in the United States. In fact, a study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention in 2011 suggests that overweight and obese cats actually have come to outnumber cats of normal weights.

While you might attribute this issue to the lazy nature of felines, keep in mind that those extra pounds could be a sign of a serious issue, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. Similar to humans, the extra weight comes with a bundle of health problems, including:

  • Shorter lifespan
  • Stress on the heart and the circulatory system
  • Joint, tendon and ligament issues
  • Increased risk of arthritis
  • Various skin disorders due to the difficulty overweight cats experience in attempting to groom themselves
Ways to slim down your feline friend

To determine whether your cat is obese, simply squeeze it gently around the middle. In case you can’t feel its ribs when you rub its side, then it might be time to ask your vet what you can do about it. If your veterinarian clearly pinpoints that your cat is overweight, then he will also suggest the best course of action.

The latest weight loss strategies for cats as presented in 2014 at a veterinary symposium in Nashville, TN include two methods that are safe and efficient. In fact, both the intermitted calorie restriction and the chronic calorie reduction managed to decrease the metabolic rate that commonly occurs during dieting, without forcing owners to starve their cats.

Experienced vets point out that adequate feeding in cats implies feeding them two high-quality meals during morning and evening. These meals should always include the recommended amounts of fat, protein, and water. The other recommendations in regards to diets include:

  • Purchasing low-calorie food that is specially formulated for overweight cats
  • Refraining from feeding it table scraps that are rich in fats
  • Eliminating or reducing the amount of dry food, as it is rich in carbohydrates
  • Scheduling specific mealtimes instead of leaving the food out all day
  • Feeding the cat low-calories vegetables and fruits as the in-between snacks
  • Refraining from feeding the cat just because it looks bored or finicky

In addition to taking control over your furry friend’s diet, vets at most animal hospitals in Peekskill, NY also recommend trying to engage it in more activities. In case your cat is lazy in general, then you could use some catnip toys to determine it to play and get some exercise. Another good alternative is to adopt a second cat, as a playmate is likely to force your lazy cat to chase it, wrestle it, play and obviously, generally exercise each other more.