Feeding cats: the right food and diet
Overfeeding or underfeeding?
Of course, a reverse process can also occur – underfeeding of the animal, which leads to starvation and depletion (cachexia) of the pet, with all the ensuing consequences. But such cases are not as common as overfeeding cats.
In itself, feeding with an excessive amount of food is not so bad if there are no disturbances on the part of the digestive tract. Even systematic overfeeding is much better than regular fasting, in which a cat can seriously get sick in a few days.
But usually the hungry cat is perceived by the responsible owners as evil, and the long refusal of food and the excessive thinness of the animal will almost certainly cause the owner to sound the alarm. In the case of overfeeding a pet and gaining extra weight, the owners are not so worried. And sometimes the situation is brought to extremes: then the cat develops obesity, it cannot jump on a low obstacle or even move normally.
What is dangerous overweight cat?
Veterinary specialists believe that about half of the owners of obese cats are sure that everything is fine with their pets, that they are happy and completely healthy. But even if the owner recognizes that the cat is overweight, he may not consider it a deviation from the norm. In many ways, this explains the presence of overweight in more than a third of domestic cats.
In fact, excess weight can significantly complicate the life of a pet. The fact is that the growth of adipose tissue gradually leads to a change in the hormonal background, an increase in the load on the joints and ligaments, and a decrease in physical endurance. Obese cats increase the risk of developing diabetes.
In addition to the above, cats with overweight in case of starvation (more than 2 days) repeatedly increase the risk of developing a serious disease – liver lipidosis, which can be fatal.
How to determine that the cat is overweight?
Best of all, if the weight of the animal will follow a veterinary specialist. Based on the Body Condition Scale (SHOCK), he ranks the degree of your cat’s fatness and makes his expert opinion.
However, you can evaluate the condition of your cat’s body at home. To do this, you need to look at the pet from the top and side, feel the belly and ribs. And remember, long-haired cats need to feel more carefully.
Normally, the cat on the ribs should have a light fat layer, but they should be easily palpable, and the stomach should not hang. During the procedure, no serious fat deposits should be detected, and when viewed from above, short-haired cat breeds should have a clearly visible waist.
If all of these conditions are met, your cat is likely to have a normal weight. If the ribs are “swollen,” there is significant fat deposition on the stomach and / or waist, the pet is probably overweight.
The following factors may contribute to weight gain and the development of obesity:
• genetic predisposition;
• hormonal diseases;
• low level of physical activity;
• binge eating.
Veterinary experts believe that overeating is the main cause of excess weight.
Owners need to be more attentive to the weight and condition of their pet’s body, adhere to the feed rates indicated on the feed package, and ensure that the proper level of physical activity is maintained.
If you follow all the rules, and the pet still gains extra weight, be sure to consult with a veterinary specialist – perhaps your cat has a metabolic disorder.
If the doctor has determined that your pet is healthy, to reduce its weight to a normal level, you need to control the body weight of the animal through exercise and proper nutrition. For a healthy cat, mobility is completely natural, therefore it is extremely important to play with a cat for at least 30 minutes a day. Active physical exertion, chasing a toy or a pointer, controlled walks and so on will help the cat to achieve optimal body weight.
How to feed a cat with overweight?
But first of all you need to choose the right cat food that meets all its needs.
In this case, in no case can not dramatically reduce the caloric intake or skip meals. This approach makes the animal nervous and can provoke unpleasant consequences: from stealing food from the table to a complete rejection of food. It is necessary to add new food to the old one gradually, and to reduce its caloric content – within 2-4 weeks.
It is important that the new diet was low-calorie and at the same time rich in protein and dietary fiber. This will help the cat to eat less food, promote proper protein metabolism, serve as prevention of muscle loss during weight loss and save it from stress. And all these requirements are fulfilled by the PRO PLAN® Light complete feed for adult cats.