According to Sarah Hartwell who runs MessyBeast.com, obesity in cats could be considered cruelty on the part of the owner. Her idea makes sense because overfeeding your cat will take away their natural instincts. If you’ve ever observed them in the wild, they do not put on extra weight because it stifles their mobility. So the real question is why do we overfeed our feline friends?
High Caloric-Carbohydrate Foods are Deadly to Felines
Many cat owners feed their cats with “free-fall” dry food feeders. Unfortunately, dry food is very rich in calories and carbohydrates that could make your cat obese. Meat byproducts in cat food are not the same as the real meat they eat in the wild (i.e. chicken, turkey, fish, rabbit, etc.). To summarize, feeding cats food with carbohydrate fillers instead of the much needed meat protein can cause obesity.
Causes of Feline Obesity
One cause for cat obesity is its owner’s misunderstanding of the nutritional benefits of what they are feeding their cat to the following list contains how misunderstandings can causes obesity in cats:
- Overfeeding: an 8-pound cat needs 4/5 of a cup of dry food or around 5.6 oz of wet food (in a can) per day. Preferably, cats should be fed raw, freeze-dried or a good quality canned food because they have the nutrients comparable to the raw meat that feral cats eat when they’re in the wild.
- Lack of Exercise: Unfortunately, giving your cat free reign in your home isn’t enough activity. Indoor feline friends need “planned” exercise. They respond to movement so chasing moving objects such as toys or a laser pointer will help your feline friend shed some extra pounds.
- Hypothyroidism: might cause cats to become overweight. Giving cats thyroxine supplements prescribed by a vet will treat it.
Health Complications from Obesity
When scientists compared the general well-being and lifespan of feral cats versus house cats, they discovered that feral cats live longer. They determined that feral cats live longer because they stay at an ideal body weight and eat food that’s highly nutritious with zero chemical additives. They also remain active throughout their life as they hunt food on a daily basis thus contracting fewer diseases that indoor cats.
As cats add more weight, the health complications for those extra fats are as follows:
- Arthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD),
- Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver Disease)
- Heart Diseases
Train Your Cat to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Fortunately, you can do something to help him or her to live a longer and healthier life! If they are overweight, only feed them foods high in nutrients and encourage them to burn all those stored calories in their bodies by scheduling daily play time. Track their progress and take them to the veterinarian for regular checkups and cat health advice.
Work long hours so can’t schedule play time with your cat? TAILored Cat Services is here to help! Our professional cat sitters can come by to play with them or take them for a walk if you provide a harness. To learn more about our cat sitting services, call us at 425-923-7791.