Here’s something alarming that few cat owners know. More than half of the cats in America are overweight. And that number has nearly doubled in the past 10 years.
Alright America….this is a wake-up call. While a chubby kitty is adorable, that chub is making them sick. Overweight cats face a lot of expensive and uncomfortable health struggles including..
- urinary disease.
And sadly, overweight cats live shorter lives than cats of a healthy weight.
How we feed our cats is just as important as what we feed our cats. The way we are doing it now is not working. We have got to change the way we feed our cats to prevent feline obesity.
Here are 7 steps to keep your cat at a healthy weight.
1 - Know your cat’s weight and what is a healthy weight for your cat. Studies show only 10% of us can tell if our cat is overweight. It might be time for a trip to the vet to get an objective opinion.
2- Monitor your cat’s weight every couple of months. You see your cat every day. It is hard to see the changes. We need some facts here to keep things on track.
3- Know how much food your cat should be eating. Ask your vet or calculate this based on their weight. Measure this out in food and treats and you don’t feed more than this in a 24 hour period.
4- Stop being a human automatic treat dispenser.
The next time you think your cat is asking for extra food or treats, grab their favorite toy and have a play session instead. Love them with some healthy exercise...not food.
5- Get rid of the all day buffet.
Cats are hunters. In nature they hunt and eat lots of small prey. They need activity and multiple small meals throughout the day and night. Here’s something you probably don’t know. A cat’s stomach is designed to be the size of a ping-pong ball, just the right size for a mouse. Not a heaping bowl of food.
Just putting down a big bowl is not serving your cat’s needs. This way of feeding is a big part of the obesity problem.6 - Feed multiple small portions of food a day - Feed 5 small meals a day. Remember that measured amount? Cats are predators. They are programmed to hunt for their food. In fact, in nature they spend up to 80% of their waking hours seeking and hunting their food. For a cat, mealtime is not just about getting food, it’s also the time that your cat needs to act out the hunt. This is their built in exercise.
If you are feeding wet food, break the day’s portion up into 5 small meals. And to get your cat moving, forget about feeding in the same spot in the kitchen every day. Take the wet food dishes and put them around the house...like up on a bookcase or windowsill. Now your cat is getting small meals and hunting for them.7- To best serve your cat’s dry food meals, use a hunting system, where you split the dry food into 5 portions and hide them. Your cat has to hunt out its portion of food and play with it to dispense the food before eating it.
Giving your cat exercise and small portions of food a least 5 times a day is the optimal way to keep your cat happy and healthy.