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Posted on 03-19-2014

     Obesity is an increasing problem in pets and can be detrimental to the health of a cat. The majority of cases are related to simple overfeeding paired with a lack of exercise. An overweight cat already has many added stresses upon his/her body and is now at an increased risk of joint pain, diabetes, and liver problems.
     Even though obesity is less common in cats than it is in dogs, obesity can still develop when the energy intake exceeds the energy requirements which would allow the excess energy to be stored as fat. Once a cat is obese; they may remain this way even after an excessive decrease in caloric intake.
     To determine if your cat is overweight, visit your veterinarian who can perform a subjective assessment of their body condition by palpation of the backbone and ribs, and by observation for a noticeable waist from above and an evident tuck in the tummy. If the veterinarian determines that your cat is obese, you should construct a solid weight loss plan and stick to it!
     Correct the diet by working with your vet to determine the caloric requirements of your cat, select a suitable food, and calculate how much to feed. Increase the physical activity of your cat; this will not only burn calories, but also reduce appetite, change body composition, and increase their resting metabolic rate. Be sure to cut back on treats and observe your cat for hunting behaviors – you’ll want to prevent unwanted additions to the diet.
     The last and most important step to your cat’s weight loss is to ensure you are committed to helping them become a healthier and happier pet!

- "Overweight Cats." ASPCA.org. ASPCA, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

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