Thursday, 21 June 2012

Losing our Pets weight

If you can't maintain your own weight, chances are, you're also struggling with your kitty.

This is an unfortunate reality, but for those wishing to turn their lives around, why not let your kitty join the bandwagon. The average ideal weight for a cat is 4.5kg, however this can vary depending on your individual cat. Consult a veterinarian for a better idea of what weight your cat should be.

I have a male sterilised ginger cat, and when he was just 1 year old, I began to notice that he was gaining weight, and too much! I caught him in the early stages, but for our 5 year old cat, he was already 9kg.

To reduce their weight, I put them onto a special diet. Hills r/d. I used the Hills daily food guidelines, to decide the amount of daily food required. Every week I would weigh the cats at the same time of day, and record the data, to ensure they were indeed losing weight. Although it took a year for it to "fall off them" I succeeded. The key is persistence.

The other important factor is reducing meal sizes and feeding more frequently. My cats would have as much as 6 small meals a day. I also reduced how much canned food they recieved to a "One serve" can of food divided between three cats, once a week. Wet food has 70% water and therefore is of little nutritional value as compared to dry biscuits. I would also monitor intake/outake of water/urine at first, to ensure your cat is still drinking and urinating, so that he or she does not become dehydrated.

The importance of weight loss being slow, is to reduce any risk of disease, as losing weight too quickly is dangerous in cats, especially if they are obese. Do not feed unsafe human foods or any treats, if you wish to treat your cat, a dish of wet food can replace one of the dry food meals you normally feed. Also each individual biscuit can be used as a reward to the cat, as it's just exciting to get something when you wouldn't usually.

Once my cats both reached a healthy weight, whereby I could feel ribs, without them being too prominent (Ask your vets opinion for your own cat), I then changed them onto a low calorie diet, as one of my cats suffers from dental disease, I chose Hills t/d. Hills t/d is a specially designed food, that is large in size, whereby a cat is forced to chew before swallowing, as the cat chews, the biscuit pulls tartar off the teeth. This diet is also low in calories. My cat is now a healthy weight of 4.6kg.

This is the previously 9kg cat, here he is 6.3kg,
 the red line shows his waist curving inward, instead of bulging!

Good luck, and remember, the key is persistence!

1 comment:

  1. this post really interests me :) Pet weigh management and obesity really interests me! I am looking to start studying VN i really cant wait! - I just watched Rolf Harris' Pet Clinic, and there was a section in there about pet obesity, it showed their specialised obesity clinic in liverpool veterinary school the small animal teaching school. Any way i have babbled! I love your blog! Mai x