Cats didn’t used to be overweight back in the day, so that’s why some pet parents might ask themselves how come this has happened. Well, the answer is actually pretty simple. It was the same with us, humans, too.
Back in the 70s and 80s, cats didn’t have access to heavily processed foods. Nowadays, almost any cat guardian will feed their feline friend a commercial diet. Unfortunately, not all pet food manufacturing brands make healthy cat food, in that they add several ingredients that shouldn’t be a part of a cat’s diet at all.
Besides food coloring, preservatives, and a variety of artificial additives, they also add carbohydrates. The fact of the matter is that cats are all carnivores, meaning that they should always eat a diet composed of protein and fat exclusively. If you are a cat parent and you’d like to prevent your cat from becoming overweight, check out the tips below.
Choose the right diet
You should first and foremost have a talk with your vet about what the most appropriate food for your feline companion actually is. While kittens need a heavier calorie diet, adult and senior cats, especially, don’t. Your vet can suggest the exact moment when you are supposed to switch from one type of formula to another.
Also, your veterinarian can also recommend specific diets that are heavier in protein and fats, which are nutrients that cats are actually supposed to eat. If you don’t have pet insurance, just make sure you always read the label of the pet food you buy and try to steer clear of any fishy ingredients. Get a grain-free cat food, if at all possible.
The vast majority of diets overestimate the quantity of food that the cat is supposed to receive. If you tend to be out of the house for many hours at a time because of your job, your cat is likely to get bored. This also means that she’s going to start munching even if she is not hungry.
Most cats are ravenous in the morning, so that should be one of the consistent meals of the day.
Organizing play sessions with your cat can help her cope with your absence, for example. It also provides your cats with some exercise, and that’s where most cats aren’t winners — they barely move over the course of a day. If they don’t have anything interesting to do, they will sit and sleep all day.
You can even get some interactive feeding toys as these will make it more difficult for your cat to get the kibble or treats, and she’ll also exercise, at the same time.
Choose specific meal times
Cats don’t tend to graze, unlike many other animals. But they do learn pretty fast when food is made available and when it is not. This means that your feline friend isn’t going to be begging for food whenever you sit down and eat your dinner, for example. Teach your cat to know when she’s going to be fed by giving her meals at consistent times.
Keep track of your cat’s weight
Keeping tabs on how much your feline companion weighs is the right way of going about things. It can help prevent a variety of medical problems, from kidney pathologies to a lot of others. Cats that are heavier are also more predisposed to developing diabetes (the same goes for humans, by the way!).
Weigh your cat every two to three weeks, especially if she tends to put on weight fast and easily.