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Why a healthy weight is important for your cat

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to ensure your cat leads a happy, healthy lifestyle. Here are a few things to consider.

Signs of weight problems

Overweight cats are likely to be more lethargic and may feel disinclined to interact with their owners, preferring to laze around for much of the day. This can send them into a vicious circle of lethargy, where the lack of exercise will exacerbate their weight problems.          

In the UK the problem appears to be growing, with aver a third of vets and vet nurses (34%) reporting that the proportion of overweight or obese cats they see in their practice has increased in the last two years.

Causes of weight problems

In the UK, 65% of cat owners don’t know their pet’s current weight, according to the PDSA PAW Report 2019. Some owners will describe their cat as cuddly but won’t recognise that their cat is overweight. Weight problems can also be attributed to a lack of exercise, accidental overfeeding where the owner isn’t sure how much food they should be feeding their pet and pets stealing each others’ food in multi-pet homes.

In the USA, 65% of cats are overweight, 60% of cats are indoor only and 27% of cats will only go outside occasionally. With little to no access to the outdoors, these cats have fewer opportunities to exercise, which is an important factor in maintaining a healthy weight. 

Medical implications for overweight cats

In the UK it is estimated that 35% of the overweight or obese cats that vets see in their practice have health issues which can be related to their weight but only 19% of owners will describe their cat as obese. If your cat is just two pounds over their ideal weight, they could be at risk of developing a serious weight-related medical condition, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Many forms of cancer – especially intra-abdominal cancers
  • Shorter life expectancy

Solutions

Play with your cat each day and give them a cat flap to the outside world to ensure they get enough exercise. 63% of owners do not understand how much they should be feeding their cat. Speak to your vet if you are unsure how much to feed your cat and give your cat a SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Connect so that you can serve accurate portions and monitor your cat’s food intake. The feeder can also prevent food stealing in multi-pet homes as it will only open for a registered cat’s microchip.

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