Recent reports indicated that Switzerland has a serious pet obesity problem. Veterinary practices revealed that between 20 and 40 percent of the pets they see are considered to be obese, with cats being affected the most. Vet Marina Schybli said that the cause was inactivity, particularly for indoor cats who overeat to compensate for their boredom.
Cats are the most popular pets in Switzerland and many of them are indoor cats due to living in rented apartments. Indoor cats are also becoming more common place in the UK, with dangers and risks increasing concerns for cat owners. It’s estimated that between 39 and 52 percent of UK cats are overweight or obese. These figures are worrying as obesity decreasing life expectancy and also increase risks of the following conditions:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Hepatic lipidosis
- Skin diseases
- Lack of stamina
- Breathing problems
- Decreased immune function
A trip to the vet will discover whether your cat is overweight or obese. It’s advisable to seek professional advice and assistance as losing weight too quickly is dangerous for cats. Gradually losing weight over up to a year is the best method of helping a cat reach the perfect body condition for their breed. Your vet will design a suitable weight loss programme that should be combined with an exercise plan. You’ll need to be committed to helping your cat and perhaps deal with some stroppiness from your feline friend while they adjust to their new lifestyle.
There are some additional actions you can take in combination with the weight loss and exercise plan.
- Treat your cat to a new activity centre. These centres do provide new places to lie down and snooze, but they also encourage climbing and play.
- Introduce new toys into the home. Remember that cats will become bored when playing with the same toy over and over. Buy a selection of different toys and rotate them throughout the weeks.
- Don’t expect your cat to play on its own. Dedicate time in your day to play with your cat and encourage movement. Busy households can share the responsibility with all family members to ensure daily activity takes place.
- Let your indoor cat have more space by introducing a cat containment system. Cats love to feel the breeze in their fur, play with leaves and chase butterflies. Even indoor cats can experience these pleasures thanks to the addition of a containment system such as a catio or cat fencing. Having access to the outdoors will increase activity and exercise levels and reduce boredom.
Don’t let your cat suffer with obesity. Use the tips above to enhance the life of your pet and ensure they are as happy and healthy as possible.