How to Stop your Cat from getting Fat: Massive Moggies, Paunchy Pusses & Tubby Toms

cat insuranceEver since the financial crisis hit in 2007 it’s been open season on corporate fat cats, but they aren’t the only ones grabbing the headlines. A recent survey by Cats Protection found that a quarter of UK cats are overweight… and it looks like a growing problem. The following tips are designed to make sure that your feline friend stays fit and healthy.

Assessing whether a cat is overweight can be a tricky business and should ideally be left up to your vet. However, as a rule of thumb you should be able to clearly see your cat’s waistline, just behind the ribs, when viewed from above.

It won’t surprise cat owners to learn that main reason for putting-on excess weight is overeating. Cats have large appetites and domestication means that they no longer have to spend much energy hunting for their next meal. In fact, a few swishes of the tail and a spot of purring usually does the trick!

As a responsible pet owner it’s very important what you feed your cat. The jury is still out on the ‘wet food Vs dry food’ debate, but it’s essential that you don’t go overboard. Only put enough food in the bowl for one meal and remember that your cat is more than capable of finding food, even if it’s just a quick visit to a friendly neighbour.

Giving an occasional treat is a great way of bonding, but if you over indulge your cat it will quickly pile-on the pounds. In fact, the survey by Cats Protection revealed that 70% of overweight cats were given treats weekly and 28% were given treats daily. Remember that cats are carnivores; so if you are going to spoil your four legged friend choose cat treats (or canned fish) rather than the first thing that you find in the fridge.

When it comes to staying in shape your cat’s diet is half the equation; the other half is exercise. Cats have a reputation for being ‘relaxed’ creatures and may need some ‘encouragement’ to burn off the calories. A changing array of cat toys will not only help to fight the flab, but will also help hone your cat’s hunting skills and stave-off boredom. And of course don’t forget to fit a cat flap!

Overweight cats face many of the same medical problems as overweight humans, including: increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and constipation. Making sure that your cat has a nutritious diet and plenty of exercise is all part of being a responsible pet owner, along with regular visits to the vet and taking-out pet insurance.

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