Not Feeding the Right Type of Diet for Weight Loss
Fat cats might be all the rage on the internet—sure, they’re cute—but extra weight isn’t healthy for felines. “Obesity is an epidemic in cats,” Gibbons says. “Owners are lucky if they have a cat that has a high metabolism or self regulates because the majority of cats do not.” Spayed and neutered cats have a lower metabolism than unaltered cats, and indoor cats burn less calories than their outdoor counterparts.
Once your veterinarian notices that your cat is overweight, it’s important to address the issue. But many owners decide to ignore it, Stockman says. Instead, make sure your cat gets enough physical activity and, more importantly, a good diet. He recommends a prescription weight loss diet, which will lower your cat’s caloric intake but still provide the nutrients they need. “Some people expect to have successful weight loss just by feeding them their regular food and decreasing the amounts; that can be successful in some cases, but when you restrict food too much, you’re restricting not only the calories but also the needed, essential nutrients,” Stockman says. “It’s important, while restricting the calories, to also provide those nutrients.”
Be sure to discuss any changes in your cat’s diet with your veterinarian, who is qualified to make recommendations based on your pet’s unique needs.