Why Should They Lose Weight? - Being even a few pounds, overweight lowers your cat's quality of life. It makes your kitty feel uncomfortable and reduces her desire to move, which can cause even more weight gain. Cats with excess weight tend to have shorter lifespans too.
They can develop diabetes, arthritis, mobility issues and other health issues. These can drastically reduce your kitty’s life expectancy but also lower their quality of life. A kitty who can’t play and groom themselves can’t be very happy.
Talk To Your Vet – Ultimately your cat losing weight is going to be down to you and changes you make to your cat’s life, but if you think you kitty is overweight it’s a good idea to consult with your vet.
Every cat has a different physiology and different needs, and even making small changes to your cat’s diet, food amount, or feeding frequency can make a big impact, positive or negative. Your vet is the best source of guidance to craft a safe, personalized weight loss plan for your unique pet.
Increase Playtime/Exercise - It goes without saying that increased activity is going to help your itty shed the pounds. It’s the same with us! Physical activity helps burn calories and fat and improves your cat’s energy levels. So, come up with ways to add more exercise into your cat’s daily life.
For instance, extra playtime with your cat (break out the toys or laser pointers) will get your cat moving and help your cat's diet show results faster. Cats are naturally playful creatures. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of playtime with your cat each day using a variety of toys.
Not only does this help strengthen your bond, but it also increases their calorie burn. Designate this time on your daily "to-do" list so you don't forget it.
If your cat regularly begs for food, try engaging them in play instead of food. Some cats will forget their desire to eat once they’re getting your undivided attention.
Spread Out Meals - If you're feeding your cat once per day, this schedule can contribute to overeating. Instead, consider spreading their normal amount of food over several feeding times. Multiple small meals over the course of the day will keep your cat from feeling so hungry at one time of day.
This strategy can also help if you’re gradually changing how much you feed your cat. If you’re cutting your cat's caloric intake, giving them more opportunities to eat will keep them from whining from hunger.
Try Using Automatic Feeders - Another tool that pet owners can use to fight cat obesity is an automatic feeder. An automatic feeder releases food at a pre-set time each day, carefully measuring and controlling the number of calories your cat receives, even if you aren't home. Use a timer-based feeder, not one that opens based on your cat's actions, to prevent overeating.
Cut Back on Treats – It might be tempting to give your kitty treats every time they ask or do something cute (which, is like all the time!). Treats can add up and cause rapid weight gain and most kitty treats aren’t the most healthy or nutritious.
Try rationing treats to a minimum number or even switching tasty teats with other kinds of treats. Catnip is a great treat for kitties that doesn’t contain extra calories – most cats love it! You can also use toys, playtime and grooming as treats too – kitties love our attention!
Changing to Diet Food - Cats are notorious for being finicky. So don't change up your cat's chow overnight. You have to be sneaky if you're switching to a new food for weight management. Start by replacing a quarter of your kitty's kibble with new food for a few days.
Then gradually increase the amount of new food over the course of several more days. It should take one to two weeks to make the change.
Stop Meal Sharing in Multi-Cat Households - If you have multiple cats in your household, you'll have to take additional steps to stop your chubby cat from overeating. Feed your cats several small meals at specific times of the day from their own, dedicated feeding bowls rather than letting them graze all day or eat from the same bowl. That way cats are more likely to finish their food, which means fewer leftovers for a housemate to gobble up.