Is your cat looking a little rounder than it used to? Running and playing less? Wondering how to make your feline friend lose weight?
Weight gain can be a common theme with cats, especially if they’ve been neutered or are getting a little older.
But carrying extra weight isn’t healthy for them.
In the wild, cats are lean, mean, pouncing machines. They move fast and have amazing reactions.
Even though they’ve been domesticated, they should ideally retain some of the characteristics that make them uniquely feline.
That’s what we’re discussing in this post.
So, if you want to help your cat to lose weight, keep reading!
Causes of weight gain in cats
If you want your cat to lose weight, it’s important to know how they gain it.
Too much food
Our cute companions seem to have a remarkably good memory when it comes to mealtimes (cue the mews!), and it’s natural to show your love with lots of lovely dinners. But remember, it’s up to you to provide consistent servings, and you can always ask your vet about portion sizes.
Most cats love to run and play and will continue having their zoomies well into old age.
However, not moving enough can have far-reaching repercussions. Not just on weight gain but on their general health and well-being too.
Cheap or over-processed food can contain more fat and filler than nutrients, which can influence your moggy’s weight.
We know that owners are keeping a keen eye on finances amid the current cost of living crisis, but we strongly recommend feeding your cat the highest quality food you can afford.
Health risks associated with having an overweight cat
There are some serious health risks associated with having an overweight cat:
- Urinary conditions
- Other joint and muscle conditions
In short, being overweight is as damaging for a cat as it is for humans and is something we should avoid wherever possible.
How to get your cat to lose weight
Now we come to the actionable part – how to help cats lose weight!
1. Encourage exercise and play
Yes, cats love to curl up into a ball and sleep for hours on end. But between those times, most felines love to play. The more you can encourage that, the better for you and your cat.
After all, who doesn’t love to watch a cat hunt a ball or a piece of string, or watch them zoom around the room? Remember, ‘well-being’ isn’t just about diet!
2. Change up mealtimes
If your cat is a grazer and has food out all day, switch to set mealtimes.
Cats crave routine, and using an automatic cat feeder if you’re out of the house or at work will promote steady growth and development. They help maintain regular dinner times and help with portion control.
If you have multiple cats, use the MiBowl® Automatic Microchip Pet Feeder to ensure one cat doesn’t steal another cat’s dinner. If this is a problem in your house, check out our blog – How to Stop Cats Eating Each Other’s Food – for some more tips.
3. Cut back on treats
Treating cats is a way of making our little loved ones purr, but it needs to be in moderation.
Either cut back on treats and make a fuss of them instead, make your own treats or buy organic treats.
Either way, fewer, better treats will have more impact and still let you show your love.
4. Change the food
Yep, we touched on food quality earlier, but it’s so important that we’re going to say it again!
We recommend buying the highest quality cat food you can reasonably afford. It will have more nutrition, less fat, fewer filler ingredients and be better for your cat.
Increasing the quality of food is a very effective way of making a cat lose weight while also improving their overall health.
5. Make them work for their food
Cats, like most domesticated animals, don’t mind having to earn their dinner. They may act like you’re staff and their dinner is their right, but when challenged, they might surprise you.
Treating and feeding toys can be very effective.
Your cat has to work out what to do, manoeuvre the toy or solve the puzzle to get the prize. It’s a surprisingly effective way to treat or feed.
They eat less and burn more calories while doing it, so it’s a win, win situation!
6. Replace food with water
Just like their humans, cats can often mistake thirst for hunger. Making sure there is plenty of water around is another way to get cats to lose weight.
Keep it fun with a cat water fountain and use water in conjunction with these other tips to slowly reduce calories and increase water intake.
Every cat could do with drinking more, so that should be another win!
How to help your cat lose weight
Fat cats should only be in boardrooms, not living rooms. Cats should be slim, lean and ready for action, whatever their age.
Even though they love to sleep and curl up on your lap, they also love being active, running around and playing. It’s a happy time for them and a delight for us to watch.
Hopefully, we have shown you how to help your cat lose weight and shared some tips for making it happen.
Now it’s over to you to change up your cat’s diet and ensure they have the best possible chance of living a long and happy life!