Cats eat when they are hungry. But, like humans, they eat for another good number of
reasons, from boredom to anxiety. And, like humans, cats overeating leads to being
overweight and potentially developing health issues. Here are some great tips to keep your
cat healthy and in good shape.
PFMA interviewed 277 vets at the London Vet Show to create their Pet Obesity Report in 2019.
Their research, which is repeated on an annual basis, showed that 100% of the vets
that took part in the survey were concerned about obesity becoming more prevalent in our
pets, and they believed 44% of our cats are overweight. With PDSA studies showing that
there is an estimated number of 10,9 million pet cats in the UK, that means that nearly 4,8
million cats are over the average healthy weight. Is your cat one of them?
How to tell if your cat is overweight
We love our cats. They’re soft, they’re elegant, and they love cuddling (well, most of them).
That’s why it may be hard to really believe your cat has put on weight. For you, they just look
as beautiful as always and it’s probably just their fluffy hair that makes them look a bit bigger.
But don’t let their pretty face deceive you: if they really are overweight, their life could be
To help us learn how to tell if a cat is overweight, Cats Protection has created this
infographic. But there are other things that could indicate a problem with their weight (and
overall health), such as lethargy and a decrease in their activity.
The risks of an overweight cat
Putting on a couple of pounds is nothing for a human like you and me, but for cats, who are
a lot smaller than us, those extra pounds can put a huge strain on their organs and joints,
affecting their quality of life and even shortening their lifespan. But what are the real risks of
a cat being overweight?
● Developing diabetes type 2,
● Joint injuries,
● Heart disease and high blood pressure,
● And even some types of cancer.
How to help your cat stay in shape
We don’t want to scare you, but it’s important that you understand the importance of keeping
your cat in good shape. Unlike dogs, cats are very independent animals and if they are not
up for it, you can’t really trick them into playing – let alone pushing them to go for a walk. So,
how can your cat stay active and healthy? Here are some suggestions.
Healthier, lighter diet
As always, the best way to keep the weight away is to watch the calories, but also the
components of the food you’re feeding your cat. Highly processed foods are not great both
for humans and for cats, which is why we recommend you check the label before buying,
and that you learn about the brand you are currently using. You may want to try a different
kind of diet for your cat, such as raw cat food. However, it’s important to check in with your
vet first, just in case.
We know cats can be pretty fussy, though. If your cat doesn’t seem interested in what you’re
offering them, take a look at our tips for giving your cat the perfect diet.
Catifying your home
Catifying your home means organising the space and adding pieces of “cat furniture” for
them to climb, scratch and jump. The reason why some cats may become less active and
therefore put on weight is precisely because they are bored. Cat trees, scratching boxes or
food mazes can give your cat hours of entertainment and exercise. For example, try leaving
their food bowl on top of the cat tree: they will have to climb to get it, and that’s already a
little workout for them!
Another reason why cats (and also humans) eat is because they are thirsty. But we all know
how special cats are – sometimes they don’t even look at the water, but they love a dripping
tap. A cat fountain can be perfect to keep your cat hydrated.
Cutting down the treats
Cat treats are not just one of the favourite things in the world for our cats, but they are also
of great help when it comes to getting them used to their new toys. You could use them in a
treat maze or a treat ball, which are great ways of making them exercise. However, if you
are feeding your cat many treats, that is just adding up calories to their daily intake. If your
cat is really after something tasty and not even some play time can get their mind away from
it, try healthier, more natural choices like these ones we have at For Petz Ni.