Obesity in Cats
Although it is nice to think our cats have nine lives, we don't have an unlimited amount of time with our furry best friends. The best we can do is extend and increase the quality of time with their only life with us. The extension of that life is through their health and well being. Obesity is the most common nutritional disease in cats.
The disease is prevalent as overfeeding is a common feeding mistake. Overfeeding is not intentional, but rather a side effect of their sedentary life. Previously in the wild, cats had a more active life and needed the additional calories to fuel their hunt. As they have transitioned into a life of lounging around the house, their caloric need should match up with their output. The caloric intake and output are not balanced and has lead to the rise in obesity in modern day cats.
Your cat’s diet depends on their, size, age, and breed. However, the average caloric diet is 200 calories per day. Recommendations for diets are based upon intake of 24-35 calories per day per pound. It is difficult to recognize obesity at the earlier stages in cats, so professional evaluation is vital. Consulting your veterinarian for specific needs and requirements of your cat is necessary to ensure adequate nutrition.
Obesity leaves our cats at risk for diabetes. Diabetes in cats is a poor regulation of insulin and is accompanied by frequent urination and thirst. Diabetes is the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels. Untreated diabetes in cats could lead to dehydration, weight loss, loss of appetite, problems with motor functions, and much more.
Arthritis is another risk associated with obesity in cats. Arthritis in cats is characterized by uncomfortable moving and painful joints. Symptoms of arthritis in cats include hesitance to jump up or down, difficulty moving, limping, and reduced activity level.
If you suspect your cat suffers from one of these conditions or are concerned about unusual behaviors, consult your veterinarian.
Diet and Nutrition
Cats typically feed at dawn and dusk, which are normal hunting hours in the wild. Veterinarians suggest a diet high in protein and low in calorie for feline friends.
Cats’ sensitivity to thirst is blunted, so cats don’t drink water like dogs. This leaves cats vulnerable to urinary tract infections. Prevention of dehydration via canned or wet food and treats can integrate moisture into your cat’s diet. You can learn more about Nibbs Club's salmon fish call treats as a moisture rich and premium quality treat option.
Balanced diets curated by professionals will allow your cat to receive the needed nutrients. Previously in the wild, cats feast on the entire animal, including the skin, organs, and bones. The different parts of their meals provided different vitamins and minerals. Thus, modern day diets should provide a diverse nutrient profile to be balanced.
Exercise for cats are a healthy way to balance the caloric intake with the output. Toys and activity sets can keep them busy running and jumping. By chasing their toys, jumping and playing, your cats' feline instincts are getting stimulated while burning off extra calories.
Healthy Snacks for Cats
When treating your cat, snacks should not exceed 5-10% of their daily caloric intake. Treat options that are moisture rich, such as Nibbs Club’s salmon fish balls, integrates healthy and natural ingredients for a premium cat treat.
When deciding the best treat options for your cat, opt for a low calorie protein snack. The typical daily feline intake is around 200 calories per day, so treating should not exceed 10-20 calories per day. Although you want to keep your cats happy, you also want to keep their weight in check.
As we are more conscious about our own diet and nutrition, we should do the same for the furriest family member. A balanced and healthy diet coupled with healthy activity could set them up for many long and happy years.