Avoiding the fat cat

Obesity is a major problem for the domestic cat and results in serious health consequences. How are cats getting fat? Well-intentioned companions are overfeeding them.

Cats are highly intelligent creatures and they’re pretty good at pushing our buttons. They look at us longingly as we’re enjoying our meal and we slip them a bite. Or they seem so hungry between meals that we simply must give them a snack. Unfortunately, the long-term result of these indulgences may be an obese cat with picky eating habits.

The way you feed your cat may contribute to his overeating. “Free-choice” feeding means food is available at all times. While some cats, like some people, can walk away when they’ve had enough, others will consume excessive amounts. Avoid this problem by creating a feeding schedule for your cat from the very beginning. Companions of cats used to “free-choice” feeding, may need to shift very gradually to a meal schedule in order to avoid resistance. Be aware that some cats enjoy a “snack” of dog food or other pet food, so you’ll want to restrict access to these sources.

Finally, give your cat hugs instead of a handout. Spoil them with love and affection, not treats, and they’ll be in your lives a lot longer.

Related pages:

Keeping your cat amused

No more food fights

Caring for your older cat

Tips for introducing a second cat to your home

Grooming: more than vanity