s the number one nutritional
problem in cats, obesity is
unhealthy for cats and can
lead to serious medical problems
such as diabetes mellitus, lameness,
| even premature death. Prevention is the best way to avoid medical problems due to obesity. Making small changes in your cat's lifestyle can be the difference between a fit cat and a fat cat. |
|WHAT IS YOUR CAT'S BODY SCORE?
|Veterinarians often use a 9-point scoring
system to evaluate the body condition
of pets. A point value of 1 means
the cat is extremely thin to the point
of emaciation. A score of 9 means the
pet is grossly overweight. A score of 5 is 'just right.' To determine body score,
your veterinarian considers the following
areas of a cat: the ribs, the base of
the tail, and the spine/shoulders/hips.
The cat is looked at from above and
from a side profile.
Body Score = 1
Body Score = 3
Body Score = 5
Body Score = 7
Body Score = 9
Rule out medical conditions
Although most weight gain in cats is simply
due to feeding too much or exercising
too little, there may be treatable medical
conditions contributing to obesity. If your
cat has an unexplained increase in appetite
or weight, have her examined by your
veterinarian to rule out possible medical
Also, always have your cat checked by your veterinarian before starting any weight loss program.
Feed the right food,
in the right amounts
Feeding a nutrient-packed, healthy
food ensures your cat gets the most
out of what she eats. Use label recommendations
as a portion guideline and avoid overfeeding. Be willing
to adjust according to your cat's body condition. Providing food as small meals rather than free-choice
feeding lets you monitor food intake.
Exercise burns fat and calories and helps to
maintain muscle and joint health. Try to play
with your cat for at least 20 minutes, twice
daily. An exciting, interactive game of chasing
a feathered toy increases bonding between
you and your feline friend and helps keep her
Offer low-fat, low-calorie treats
The extra calories and low nutritional value of treats
and table scraps are often the biggest offenders when
it comes to obesity. Instead of offering table scraps
as a treat, offer one of the many low-fat, low-calorie
treats now available. Even better, offer your cat affection
in place of treats.
Da Bird is a tempting toy that exercises
your cat as he hunts and chases it.
Drs. Foster & Smith Tuna Flakes provide a low-fat, high-protein snack option for