How can I prevent my cat from gaining weight?
How do I tell if my cat is overweight?
Second, check the area near the base of your cat's tail. There should be a small amount of fat covering this area and it should feel smooth overall. If the bones protrude, your cat is too thin; if you cannot feel any bones at all, your cat is very overweight.
Third, feel other bony prominences on the cat's body such as the spine, shoulders, and hips. Again, you should be able to feel a small amount of fat over these areas. If these bones are easily felt or visible, your cat is too thin. If you cannot feel the bones beneath the layer of fat, the animal is obviously overweight.
Fourth, look at your cat from above. The animal should have a definite waist behind the ribs. If the waist is extreme or if bony prominences are visible, the animal is too thin. If there is no waist, or worse yet, the area between the ribs and hips is wider than the hips or ribs, your cat is grossly overweight.
Fifth, look at your cat from the side. Cats should have an abdominal tuck (the area behind the ribs should be smaller in diameter than the chest). An animal who is too thin will have a very severe abdominal tuck. Overweight animals will have no abdominal tuck.
How fast should my cat lose weight?
Do I have to use a reducing diet if my pet is supposed to lose weight? Some cats, even those who do not have to lose a large amount of weight, will do fine on a lesser amount of their normal food. Cats who are on a special diet because of another condition (e.g., kidney disease) should remain on that diet and simply be fed less of it.
However, a balanced commercial weight reduction diet does offer several advantages. First, weight reduction diets are generally high-fiber, low-fat diets which have a low energy density and allow a greater loss of body fat than simply feeding smaller amounts of a high-fat diet. This is because fat contains over twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates and low-calorie dense foods tend to produce satiety (a feeling of being full) at a lower level of calorie intake. In addition, more energy is used in digesting and absorbing low-fat, high-fiber diets. Finally, weight reduction diets contain the proper amount of vitamins and minerals per serving size. By feeding less of your cat's regular food, you are also decreasing the level of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your cat receives. These differences could be eliminated by using supplements, but it is something you should be aware of.
Why did my pet gain weight when I fed according to the manufacturer's recommendations?
Also consider what else your cat may eat. If your cat typically gets table scraps, treats, and a "little something to make the food taste better," these are probably the reason your cat is gaining excess weight. The calories in "little extras" add up very quickly.