Why is my cat fat & how can I help them lose weight?

Cat obesity is a growing epidemic. More and more pet-owners are being forced to ask their local vets 'why is my cat fat'. Read on to discover how you can help an overweight cat get back to a healthy weight.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘why is my cat fat?’, the first thing you should know is that you’re not alone; cat obesity is a growing epidemic. More and more pet-owners are complaining to their local vets about their overweight cats and they’re right to be worried. In fact, about 1 in 3 cats in the UK are classed as overweight. 

Cat obesity is directly linked to a range of health problems for overweight cats, such as diabetes and other chronic diseases that all affect the quality of a cat’s life. Fortunately, there are ways that pet owners can help reduce the weight and, in turn, improve their feline friend’s health and wellbeing. These include encouraging exercise and improving their diets with low-fat cat food. Read on as Reveal discusses how best to help your overweight cat!

Why is my cat fat?

Put simply, the reason your cat is fat is that it’s eating more calories than it’s burning off. This problem is more common among house cats because they tend to be less mobile if not stimulated properly. If your cat is leading a lazy, sedentary lifestyle, it won’t lose any weight. Just like us, the best way for cats to overcome obesity is through dieting and exercise. 

By controlling how much and what type of cat food your feline eats, this will help stave off your obese cat’s ever-increasing calorie count. Then, by introducing natural exercise into your cat’s lifestyle, your overweight cat will start to gradually become more active and burn calories quicker. It may sound like an obvious answer, but this winning combination is the most effective way to reduce your cat’s weight.

help an overweight cat

How to get my cat to lose weight

Of course, while the solution to helping your overweight cat might be a simple one, we appreciate that it’s easier said than done. With a multitude of different resources available online detailing different ways to help your cat lose weight, it can be difficult to know which one works best. Which is why Reveal will help cut to the chase and discuss what we know works from experience. While there are certain quick fixes that cat owners can do to help encourage exercise, such as activity-based toys like climbing and scratching frames or by allowing outdoor access for indoor cats, we suggest getting more creative with your approach.  

For example, every cat owner has experienced the begging routine their furry friend likes to play whenever they’re feeling peckish. When begging for treats, they’ll come up to you with a cute little expression, perhaps with a soft meow and paw placed gently for the icing on the cake and you’ll melt every time. We’re not saying you can’t treat your cat. The key, however, is to change up the routine.

Studies have found that owners with healthy cats play more games with their felines than those with overweight cats. The next time your cat comes looking for a treat, make a game of it. Grab your cat’s favourite toy and get them to work for their treats to keep them stimulated. For an extra tip, cats play with toys that look like prey, so they respond well to toy mice or other critters that they might pounce on out in the wild. They also respond better to certain vibrant colours, such as blue, green or yellow, so factor this into your toy selection to find out what engages them the most. 

Once you’ve tired them out, reward your cat with just the one treat. They may not take to the new change initially, but the repetition of daily playtime will breed a new routine and create a deeper bond between you and your cat. Remember the golden rule; play more, treat less. 

Another effective method for weight loss is engaging your cat’s natural instinct as a predator. For felines out in the wild, food consumption has always involved physical exertion. As natural hunters, cats have always hunted their prey. It’s only now that they’re domesticated that cats know easier methods of getting food, such as playing on their human owner’s sympathies. 

So instead of waiting for your cat to come begging for treats, try hiding them around the house for your cat to instinctively hunt for. By creating a crafty trail for your cat to follow and explore, this exercise will stimulate these mental reflexes, as well as keeping them mobile.

Finally, we would advise adhering to strict portion control when it comes to feeding your cat. The recommended diet for overweight cats is one that provides between 60-70% of the required calories for their current body weight. To weigh your cat at home, hold your cat as your stand on a set of scales. Subtract your weight from the final figure to get your cat’s weight. The choice of cat food will also play an important factor in how successful any diet is. As such, Reveal recommends increasing the proportion of canned and raw cat food into your pet’s daily diet. 

overweight cat tips

Best food for overweight cats

For overweight cats, low-fat canned cat food has the advantages of being high in protein, as well as containing fewer carbohydrates and calories than typical dry cat food. Studies have proven that cats fed only canned, raw foods have experienced  substantial weight loss. When it comes to implementing low-fat food into your cat’s diet, we recommend an even ratio of dry and wet foods. This should produce results for overweight cats. 

For the best possible weight loss, we advise sticking to a meat-based diet of canned cat foods. As carnivores, cats receive their best nutrients from meat. As such, feeding them highly digestible meats as their main source of protein can help prevent future weight gain. Additionally, you might want to try a ‘less is more’ approach when it comes to feeding time. Spread out your cat’s meals so that they eat little and often. That way, you can keep track of what they are eating and how much, in order to properly monitor your cat’s weight loss.

Low fat cat food from Reveal

Here at Reveal, we dedicate ourselves to enriching the lives of pets and pet owners alike through pet food that  is visibly better. Our range of low-fat canned cat food is perfect for overweight cats, as all our recipes are made from only the best 100% natural ingredients. Reveal’s low-fat cat food is ethically sourced, healthy and above all else, tastes amazing. From chicken breasts to tuna fillets, we only offer the best low-fat cat food because your cat deserves the best.

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