Blog

Welcome to Goodness For Pets Blog

Overweight Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Diet, Pet Store | Goodness For Pets

Do You Have an Overweight Cat?

Almost 60% of all cats in the United States are classified as overweight or obese. Veterinarians report that over half of the of the cats they see are overweight and that only 17% of those pet parents think they have an overweight cat. Overweight cats are categorized with that status for different reasons and factors. The most common contributing factors are over-indulgence by pet owners, too much biologically inappropriate food and lack of exercise.

When a cat is overweight it taxes their system, causing issues for organ functioning and mobility. Therefore, it is a critically important issue to address right away. A recent study showed that a cat maintaining ideal body weight will live 2 years longer on average (and with significantly less disease) than their overweight counterparts. Furthermore, an overweight cat is more prone to conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Cancerous tumors

In this post we will talk about the most common reasons for cat obesity and practical solutions for weight reduction and subsequent weight management, ways to prevent cats from becoming overweight and solutions for cats that may already be at that stage. Even though you may not think you have an overweight situation, your cat can benefit from a re-evaluation of his/her’s nutritional intake and needs, ideally every 1-2 years.

Overweight Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Diet, Pet Store | Goodness For Pets

WHY IS MY CAT OVERWEIGHT?

 

Important factors to consider are age, breed and activity level. Certain health conditions can contribute to obesity including thyroid issues, diabetes and Cushing’s Disease.  Also certain medications can contribute to weight gain. These should all be evaluated with your vet before embarking on a weight loss regime. Once those are ruled out, you can begin a slow but steady approach to weight loss. As is for humans, it should be considered a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. As you continue to read, we will give you some of our suggestions for what to feed your overweight cat. But first, let’s examine the root causes of why your cat may be overweight.

THE BASICS QUESTIONS TO ASK:

What is my cat eating?

Of course, you want to feed your cat only the best. Healthier cat food can truly make a difference in your cat’s life. Many people think because the packaging states it is “Healthy” that the food is fine. As an informed cat owner, you need to dig a bit deeper.  Find foods and treats that have real ingredients instead of words you can’t pronounce, the more natural the better. Pay particular attention to the ingredient panel, protein source and guaranteed analysis (where fat, calories and protein are listed).

How much and how often am I feeding my cat?

A simple way to stay on track with weight management and reduction is to precisely measure your cat’s food and to feed your cat on a schedule. Many people “free feed”, meaning a bowl of food is left out at all times. While this makes things simple, it can quickly and easily lead to an overweight cat. Feed cats separately in multi-cat households especially if there is a weight issue. It is also a good idea to keep them away from any other pets food (like the dog’s food or chews)

Getting your cat on a consistent eating schedule with measured amounts of food will reduce weight while ensuring nutritional needs are being met. Also consider the big picture of what your cat is consuming including treats, dental chews and other pets food they may be able to get into. All this must be calculated into what your cat consumes per day on average. Cutting back on what your cat eats as a whole will aid greatly in weight loss.

Is my cat getting enough exercise and playtime?

Forty percent of American adults do not participate in any leasure-time physical activity. So, no doubt many cats are just as sedentary. Exercise is an important factor to take into account when dealing with an overweight cat. Increasing activity levels is probably the single most important thing you can do for your overweight cat, second only to nutrition.  Start slowly and work your way up to more exercise and playtime per day. As little as 15 to 20 minutes per day can help with weight loss.

Cats are very curious and get physical benefits from playing as well as mental stimulation.  Rotating through different toys that engage multiple senses and the predatory drive of cats is encouraged. Interactive toys (ones in which you play with your cat) come with different features, textures and movement to it, be it a feather, a string or a rattle. Laser beam chasing is equivalent to cardio for cats but a lot more fun! Cats love tunnels too and not only like to fly through them but also enjoy napping in in them. At Goodness For Pets we have a great selection of cat toys, tunnels, organic catnip, scratchers and tree towers.

It may take some time and discipline, but will be well worth the effort once you see your cat gain more energy and stamina as they lose the extra weight!

Overweight Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Diet, Pet Store | Goodness For Pets

WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY OVERWEIGHT CAT?

 

No matter which type of food you decide to feed your cat, calculate the daily portion to be less than what is suggested on the cat food package. For example, if your cat is overweight and weighs in at 20 pounds but should be 12 pounds, feed them the daily portion recommended for their “ideal weight” (10-14 lbs.) Feed the daily portion over two feedings. One in the morning and again in the evening. This helps to maintain blood sugar and metabolism as well as hunger. We are raw food advocates at Goodness for Pets but understand that a raw diet may not be the solution for everyone. With that in mind, we have provided a solution for an overweight cat lifestyle change that includes raw, dry and/or wet food.

RAW DIET:

 

Raw diets, either frozen or freeze-dried,  make it easier than ever to keep your cat’s diet as close to nature as possible, allowing them to live longer, healthier, more vibrant lives. Cats experience better digestion and absorb nutrients more easily when fed a diet based on natural eating habits in the wild including muscle meat, bones, organs, raw fruits and vegetables. The feeding portion of a raw diet is considerably less than dry or wet food. This is because nutrients are not lost in the cooking process and virtually everything is absorbed. One of the many upsides to a raw diet is that because nearly everything is absorbed, poops become small and less frequent.

At Goodness For Pets we stock frozen and freeze-dried varieties from a number of select companies that meet our discriminating standards.  One we like to recommend is a frozen raw diet from Vital Essentials Pet Foods. Use the handy feeding calculator to determine the appropriate portion for your cat.

Vital Essentials Frozen Cat Food

Overweight Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Diet, Pet Store | Goodness For Pets

Guaranteed Analysis

Chicken Mini Patties

Crude Protein (min) 12.5%
Crude Fat (min) 4%
Crude Fiber (max) 0.7%
Moisture (max) 79%

Calorie Content: ME (Calculated) = 76 kcal/patty

Additional Product Information:

  • Omega oils to promote skin and coat health
  • Taurine rich
  • Low carb
  • Limited ingredients
  • No fillers or preservatives

Vital Essentials Frozen comes patties in a 28 ounce resealable bag and also packed in a 14 ounce tub. Protein choices are Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Rabbit.

Dry Food:

 

No one can deny the convenience of dry cat food! If you decide to feed dry food, consider adding additional moisture. Bone broth or goat’s milk are excellent choices as both provide extra nutrients and health benefits. Portion control is a key factor in the diet process for an overweight cat. We can help you figure out what daily portions to feed your cat based on their age, size and breed.

The solution we recommend for overweight cats is an all-natural formulation by Petcurean called NOW FRESH™ Senior/ Weight Management Cat Food. It is made with 100% whole turkey, salmon, duck and with added Omega 3 and 6 oils from coconuts and canola. NOW FRESH™ also features zero grains, gluten, wheat, corn or soy and no rendered meats, by-products or artificial preservatives. It has been incredibly palatable with picky eaters and is a small size kibble, which cats tend to enjoy more.

Overweight Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Diet, Pet Store | Goodness For Pets

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein (min) 30%
Crude Fat (min) 14%
Crude Fiber (max) 5.5%
Moisture (max) 10%

Calorie Content: ME (Calculated) = 393 kcal/cup

Additional Product Information:

  • Omega oils to promote skin and coat health
  • Glucosamine/chondroitin to support hip and joint health
  • Added L-Carnitine to support heart health/fat burning
  • Pre- and probiotics to support digestion
  • No fillers or preservatives

Available in 4 lb, 8 lb and 16 lb bag sizes.

 

Wet Food:

 

Wet food, canned, refrigerated or pouches are an excellent choice for weight management because they have higher protein, lower carbohydrates and fewer calories compared to a similar sized quantity of dry food. It is always advisable to add extra moisture to your cat’s diet and a canned food can also make your cat feel fuller longer. The canned food we like to recommend is Rawz Cat Food. It comes in a pate consistency which most cats genuinely enjoy.

Raw Pet Food is a family owned company that uses high-quality ingredients in small batch products. The Rawz company will donate 100% of their profits (after taxes and reserves) to support three main causes: providing service dogs, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. They, as do we, care about all pets and the meaningful impact they have on our lives.

Overweight Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Diet, Pet Store | Goodness For Pets

 

Guaranteed Analysis

96% Turkey & Turkey Liver Pate

Crude Protein (min) 12%
Crude Fat (min) 9.5%
Crude Fiber (max) 1%
Moisture (max) 78%

Calorie Content: ME (Calculated) = 201 Kcal/Can

Additional Product Information:

  • Limited ingredients
  • No fillers or preservatives
  • BPA free cans
  • Low carb
  • No rendered meals

Available in 3 and 5.5 ounce cans in Turkey & Turkey Liver Pate, Chicken & Chicken Liver Pate, Beef & Beef Liver Pate, Duck & Duck Liver Pate, Chicken & Herring Pate, Turkey & Salmon Pate, Rabbit Pate and Salmon Pate.

 

Now What?

 

It is never too late to start the process to help your overweight cat achieve success in losing weight. We truly care about the health of pets and are here to help guide you to what is best for your cat. At Goodness For Pets we have over 30+ combined years of pet nutrition experience. Come in and talk with us about your pet’s nutrition, we would be happy to help you and your cat.

 

Overweight Cat, Fat Cat, Cat Diet, Pet Store | Goodness For Pets

 

___

Goodness for Pets is an all-natural pet supply store and boutique catering to animals and those who love them. Since 2004, we have been providing unparalleled service to our community in Naples, FL.  Our goal is to be a valuable and dependable resource for our customers, offering products and services that are distinguished by quality, safety, excellence, and creativity. We specialize in holistic solutions with an emphasis on nutrition while acknowledging that each pet and pet owner has unique needs and requirements.