Fat Cats

Published on June 17, 2013 by in Blog


cat covering its eyes resizedOops, I have to face it: my cat has grown too big!  He had some food allergies and threw up a lot. Our vet has been working with me to find a dry cat food he can tolerate.  Unfortunately, they are all expensive and still didn’t work.  My cats loved one in particular which contained rabbit and green peas; however, KC couldn’t keep it down at all. 

I tried a name brand food from Wal-Mart and this did the trick.  KC stopped throwing up his food.  Recently, I have realized that this new food has an unwanted side effect – it put excess weight on my cat. This dry food is not an indoor formula created for less active indoor only cats.  Many vets recommend feeding more canned cat food than dry food because it has more protein, less carbohydrate and high water content. The consensus is that a diet rich in carbs is not good for cats. Cats naturally crave foods like mice and birds which contain high protein and low carbohydrate.

Petmd states, “Cats, unlike most mammals, have no carbohydrate-digesting enzyme called Amylase in their saliva. Humans and dogs do and actually begin the digestion of carbohydrate in the mouth. In the intestine, amylase secreted from the pancreas breaks down large carbohydrate molecules into absorbable smaller units of glucose. Cats have measurably less amylase activity than humans or dogs. Nature did not intend the kitty to be a carbohydrate consumer.”

The first step to helping your cat lose weight is to take it to your veterinarian.  The vet will perform a physical exam making sure there are no underlying health issues. Then s/he will recommend a diet which needs to be introduced gradually over a period of several weeks.  Slowly decrease the percentage of the old diet while increasing the percentage of the new one. Cats should be fed 2 to 4 small meals per day (consisting largely of protein) rather than free fed.  Your vet will tell you how much weight your cat needs to lose and how much should be fed at each meal.  Cats should not lose weight too rapidly and weight loss should be monitored by your vet.

Make sure you have interactive cat toys to help keep your cat active. Look especially for toys that simulate an escaping prey to engage them in the chase.  Take the time to play with your cat.  They are amazing creatures to watch in action.  Something as simple as a couple of feet of yarn or ribbon can entertain and activate even a couch potato/cat.

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