OBESITY IN CATS
It must be very adorable to have a plump, chubby cat to go home to. However, it is not such a pleasant experience for your kitty especially if they are obese. Feline obesity can be ascertained using the body condition score (BCS). Pets are given a score between 1 to 9 based on their body weight with a score of 5 / 9 being considered as ideal. A score above 9 is essentially indicative of potential or obvious obesity. If a cat surpasses their ideal weight by 30%, they are deemed obese. It is important to note that being able to feel your cat’s ribs and see their waistline clearly are basic ways of ensuring they are not inching towards obesity.
As with the case of humans, pets become overweight when they eat more and exercise less. Obesity can put your cat at an increased risk of developing cancer, diabetes mellitus, cardiac problems, and hypertension. Additionally, they can also develop osteoarthritis, skin infections, and bladder stones. Factors such as early-onset obesity, advanced age, an inactive lifestyle, and genetics can make a cat susceptible to obesity, with females being more at risk than male cats.
Although a common problem among cats, obesity is an easily treatable condition. At the advice of your veterinarian, you can design a specific, well-balanced diet to help your cat lose weight. An important thing to remember is that overfeeding your cat does not guarantee complete nutrition. You must never neither starve nor underfeed your cat or put them on special diets that can help them lose weight much too quickly, without consulting with your veterinarian. Exercising your cat regularly, especially if they are an indoor cat, can also help you prevent or effectively manage feline obesity. If you have a cat in your garden, you can encourage them to climb it as they generally love to climb onto high places. Playing with your cat is another way of making sure your furry friend remains physically active. Your veterinarian can tell you more about the ways in which you can ensure your cat’s continued health and overall wellbeing.