How to make your cat lose weight

by Akshay Mirchandani

If you’ve been told multiple times that your cat needs to lose a little weight, you are probably wondering how you are going to break this traumatic news to your feline best friend. Cats, often fall into two distinct categories when it comes to eating habits: those that simply graze on their food, but never really over-eat, and those that just can’t get enough and always seem to be hungry. You should understand that even an extra 0.5-1 kilogram of weight can cause significant health, such as diabetes, and will shorten your beloved pet’s lifespan.  A recent study revealed that an average cat carrying an extra 1kg of weight is equivalent to a human carrying an extra 15kg of body weight.

So, now that we know that it is important, how do we make it happen? Sometimes we need to be a little sneak, to avoid the trauma associated with dieting. Here is a list of simple ideas that will hopefully help to get those extra kilos off with minimal distress for your cat:

  1. Identify the ideal calorie intake

To work out how many calories your cat needs on a daily basis, simply multiply his weight in kg by 30, then add 70, for example, 6kg x 30 +70 = 250, and then multiply this by 0.8, which equals 200 calories per day. If your cat eats less than this amount, he will lose weight. If he eats more than this, he will gain weight. If your cat is overeating, simply reduce the amount of calories you feed your cat by 15% for a slow, steady weight loss.

  1. Use the help of Kong Wobblers

Put some or all of your cat’s dry food in a treat ball or a dispenser like the Kong Wobbler. This will slow down your cat’s eating as well as increase his daily exercise. You can easily make one at home with an old toilet-roll holder partially sealed at either end with tape or buy one instead.

  1. Spread out their meals

Feed your cat frequent small meals as till will help in increasing satiety. Most cats prefer to eat at least 7 times per day, so splitting the meals will keep them satisfied and full, and they won’t tend to over eat either.

  1. Add more water

Add more water to your cat’s daily food. This will help in not just keeping him hydrated, but also by filling him up and keeping him full. You can do this with wet or dry food, whichever your cat likes more.

  1. Reduce the dry food.

Dry food is usually where the calories are found the most. Canned food is usually around 80% water, while dry food is less than 5% water and is basically a high-calorie, dehydrated food. Even just a few extra biscuits add significant extra calories to your cat’s meal. For example, many dry foods contain 400 calories per cup, while the average cat requires less than 200 calories per day.

  1. Play with your cat

Do this for at least 10 minutes per day, every day. Use a laser pointer or fishing-line toy that encourages your cat to jump around, pounce and dart about. Exercise that predator-play instinct. This will increase his daily exercise and help in reducing the weight.

  1. Consider alternative foods

Think about high protein foods such as meat that you can feed your cat. A pure meat diet is not a balanced one on its own, but it makes a great addition to your cat’s diet and it is great for the teeth as well. It is also better metabolically for your cat than high carbohydrate, fatty dry foods. A raw chicken neck is also great for your cat’s teeth and will last much longer than the equivalent amount of dry food.

So, keep your cat healthy and happy and talk to your vet about your vet options or contact us right away for any further queries!