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Obesity in Kitties

Does your pet make a pretty big thump when she jumps off something? Do your legs go numb moments after Fluffy jumps into your lap? Is your cat getting, well, a bit round? If so, you may have a little butterball on your hands! A local Columbia, MD vet discusses kitty obesity in this article.

By The Numbers

If your cat is chubby—or perhaps outright fat—you are certainly in good company. Well over half of our feline pals are overweight or obese! And while those kitties may be cute with some extra padding, they are also at elevated risk of many health problems, including diabetes, bone/joint trouble, and heart disease. Obese pets also have shorter life expectancies than those who stay at or near their ideal weight.

Feeding Your Feline

Cats are very, very good at meowpulating us, and getting us to fill their bowls or give them treats on demand. Steel yourself against those cute mews! Even giving your furry buddy just a few extra calories a day may cause her to pack on extra pounds. Quality is just as important as quantity here. Many lower quality brands contain high amounts of fillers and carbs, which may contribute to weight gain. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Is Fluffy … not just fluffy?

With shorthaired cats, you can usually get a pretty good idea of their body condition by looking at them or holding them. With larger kitties and longhaired ones, it gets a bit trickier. Your vet is going to be the ultimate authority on this. However, you can get a basic idea of Fluffy’s weight by feeling her ribs. If your feline friend has so much body fat that you can barely feel them, you probably have a fuzzy little butterball on your hands.

Exercise

Kitties are quite playful by nature. Even though your furry friend will slow down over time, she’ll still be prone to rounds of silliness. Offer your cat lots of toys, and give her things to climb and explore. One thing that may work is to just toss one of Fluffy’s playthings, or even a crumpled piece of paper, down the hall. Chances are, she’ll run after it, just to see what it is.

Do you have questions or concerns about feeding your cat? Do you think your pet is obese? Contact us, your Columbia, MD veterinary clinic, today.

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