7 Fitness Tips to Keep your Cat in Shape
Sure, fat-cat memes are funny on the internet, but it’s heartbreaking in real life watching a cat struggle to get up. Cat obesity is no joke and can cause serious harm to your beloved feline. In 2018, 60 percent of cats in the United States were overweight. Whether it’s due to overfeeding, lack of exercise, or just misunderstanding how best to feed your furball, taking steps to reduce weight gain in your pet will guarantee a happier, healthier lifestyle you just can’t beat. Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of both feeding and playtime.
Practice portion control—always.
Feeding guidelines on dry kibble bags sometimes overestimate the amount of food your cat needs, so ask your vet what’s appropriate for your pet and his or her activity level and consider exploring the fresh alternatives to dry food. Measure out correct portions—don’t try to eyeball it—and stick to what the experts recommend.
Spice up feeding time with fun toys.
By encouraging your cat to work for the food he eats, you’re instilling healthy habits. Feeding toys also help your cat to slow down when eating and not consume so much at one time. This will help trim down excess fat on your feline.
Find the correct diet for your cat.
The best way to feed your furry friend is with a balanced diet, free from filler products such as grains, legumes and excess starch. If your cat is on a dry kibble diet, talk to your vet about transitioning your pet to species-appropriate nutrition.
Serve several small meals throughout the day.
While this might seem counterintuitive—more meals equal more time eating—this discourages your cat from eating out of boredom. If food is always available to your pet throughout the day, just like it is for humans, she is likely to nibble when unsure what else to do. If you get into the habit of feeding your feline two to three small meals per day, your pet learns to eat only when she’s hungry and when she’s served.
Keep your cat active.
Maybe your cat isn’t leash trained like your dog, but that doesn’t mean he can’t exercise. Make time during the day to entertain him with interactive toys that he enjoys and that keep his body moving. Maybe it’s a laser light, or a wind-up mouse—whatever keeps his heart pumping and calories burning.
Okay, so you’ve implemented some new lifestyle habits and training into your pet’s life; now it’s time to track the progress. Weigh your cat consistently, monitoring the number and keeping in touch with your vet about what is a healthy weight for your pet. Track calorie intake and amount of active time in a day and make regular checkups for your feline.
Feed your cat natural ingredients.
A natural, less processed diet helps maintain feline eyesight, keep a balanced immune system, and stave off preventable diseases- and it is instinctively delicious. Really, what more could you want?