Just as with people, feline obesity is often linked with too much food or not enough exercise. Attempts to just cut back on the calorie intake may not be successful and lead to other problems, such as liver problems. The University of Illinois conducted some experiments on a previously suggested claim that increased meal frequency could improve overall physical activity.
Cats were fed up to four times a day with limited human interaction. It was found that when a cat could anticipate a meal, they were more active. Even more activity was found after the meal was eaten. Their conclusion: when cats are allowed to eat freely, it's difficult to prevent obesity. It's important to identify the right diet. Cat food is supplied to thousands of cats with different metabolisms, etc., so it can be very tricky to determine the right amount. Most foods are easily digestible and nutrient intense, so owners tend to overfeed.
Adding water to dry food or alternating dry food and wet food can help in maintaining a healthy weight. If you only put food out once a day try feeding your cats twice a day to increase their activity.
Dogs don't let us forget when they need exercise, but cats are like the average person this way. If they don't have a specific motivation, they're perfectly happy to chill. But we can't eat Cheetos while having a Netflix marathon every day, and neither can our cats. It's our job to fight their flab! Exercising your cat daily will help maintain a healthy weight. No one is saying your cats aren't precious pounds of roly poly cuteness, but obesity puts a cat at risk for a variety of health problems, such as cardiac disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Although cats aren't always that easy to connect with, playing with them can boost that bond that you have. It seems that playing or "exercising" often has a positive effect on their behavior because of the attention they are receiving.
Finding ways to exercise your cat is certainly not all that complicated, and most cat owners already know a variety of ways. However, one of the most important things is to keep things fresh! Just like we might get bored with the same workout again and again, so do cats. Switch up the rooms, the toys, and your methods.
Three tried and true "toys" are1. String
2. Crinkly mouse/squirrel/bird/unknown animal
3. Brown paper shopping bag
After all of this good advice, I'll still probably find the cats that are "different". Like mine!
And finally, there is always this cat "logic"!
Do you have any problems with an overweight cat? Would love to hear about your experiences. So far, in the last three years, I've gotten Kirby down 2 pounds. Slow, but steady. Two more to go. :>) Will close with this darling, short video from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yvette.arby/posts/696479250398249
Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty, which is available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667