6 Tips For Putting Your Cat On A Diet
As humans, we know the healthy benefits of staying trim and leading an active life. Unfortunately, cats aren't as well informed. Cats don't know what self-control is, and when they gain an extra few pounds, they have to rely on their owners to make sure they get down to a healthy weight and maintain. Here are 6 tips for putting your cat on a diet.
Weight loss should be gradual and calorie intake should be reduced, not eliminated. Talk to your vet about how much food your cat should be eating each day according to your cat's build and breed. Measure out the prescribed amount and divide it into mini meals. Dole them out at different times of the day so he doesn't have access to his food all at once. With this method, he may not get hungry later and beg for unnecessary food.
Some cats love to gobble down their food and once they get started, it's hard to stop them. Try to get your cat to slow down at his dinner bowl. It's easier than you think -- putting a ping pong ball in with his kibble adds a challenge to feeding time. Your cat has to put in a little more energy and thought into working around the ping pong ball to get to the food. To slow him down further, add two balls to the bowl.
If you have other pets in the house, keep their food and human food out of reach of your cat. Since cats are nimble enough to go anywhere and everywhere in your house, you may have to lock away all food in a bedroom or end tables with storage. It might be a hassle and you may encounter some whining from the other members of your family, but it could save you money at the vet and buy you more time with your feline friend in the long run.
Make your cat's water supply a never-ending one. That doesn't mean he needs a fountain running at all hours, you just need to set out several bowls of water around the house. This way he fills up on water rather than food.
There are special foods you can buy to help your cat lose weight. They do cost a little bit extra, so before you go digging in your wallet to feed him something different, check with your vet to make sure it's safe for your cat. Just like human diet food, it's not right for everyone.
You don't have to visit the vet to monitor your cat's weight loss, but if you've ever watched a vet try to weigh a cat, you might be a little discouraged about doing it at home. It's nearly impossible to get a cat to stay on a scale long enough to read his weight, but it's easy if you weigh yourselves together. Step on the scale by yourself and record the number. Then step on the scale while holding your cat and record that number. Subtract the first number from the second number and that's your cat's weight. Don't weigh him too often -- it's hard to see the daily results. Weight loss needs to be gradual for it to be healthy, so a weigh-in once a week should be OK.