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4 Reasons Your Cat May Be Struggling with Obesity {And What to Do About It}

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Many modern cats struggle with obesity. Their owners try to help them lose weight, but they find it an uphill battle. If your cat needs to shed a few extra pounds, this post is for you!

Here are 4 reasons your cat may be struggling with obesity and how to help your cat lose weight.

Free Feeding

Many cat parents have gotten into the habit of free feeding their furbabies. As the name suggests, "free feeding" means filling up the cat's dish and allowing the cat to eat as much as it wants. It gives the cat the option of eating either more or less food, depending on its mood and appetite.

Although free feeding may seem like a logical approach, it has some serious problems. First, it does not allow you to monitor your cat's appetite. Loss of appetite may be one of the first symptoms of serious illness. In addition, it allows your cat to overeat and (possibly) become obese. 

At UnderCover Pet Houses, we believe that meal feeding is a better approach. You can check out this article to discover 3 benefits of meal feeding. If you're wondering how to help your cat lose weight, this is a great place to start!

Recommended Reading: How to Start Meal Feeding

Feeding Human Food

When your kitty begs for just a little taste of that delicious roast beef, how can you refuse her? We know it's tough when Kitty gazes into your eyes with her most pleading look. However, we're going to go out on a limb and say that, in most cases, it's not a good idea to feed human food to your cat.

Why? First, you can easily feed your cat too many calories if you supplement her regular food with table scraps. In addition, many human foods are dangerous for cats to eat. Something as innocent-looking as onions or cold cut meats may cause illness in your cat. If you do choose to give your cat "people food," please do your homework first!

Recommended Reading: Are Human Foods Okay for Cats to Eat?

Over-feeding

According to nutritionist Nathan Elam, Ph.D., cats have a natural tendency to overeat because of the scarcity of food in their natural habitat. He told Catster Magazine, "Most cats, in fact, probably all cats, will consume more calories than necessary if you give them the opportunity."

That's why experts recommend meal feeding and following the guidelines on the back of the cat food bag.

Dr. Drew Weigner of The Cat Doctor added that nutritional guidelines on cat food are for the average cat--not your cat! He recommends that you take your current cat food to the vet. Ask them to suggest a daily amount tailored to your cat's specific needs. 

Also, ensure that you are not feeding your cat too many treats. Try limiting treats to once or twice a week if your cat struggles with weight issues.

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Lack of Exercise

Just like their humans, cats can also gain weight if they aren't active enough. Does your cat spend most of her day sitting on the couch, watching television? If so, she needs more exercise in her life! A daily play session of just 15 minutes would help her tremendously. If you're stumped for ideas, check out this post: 5 Easy Games You Can Play with Your CatWhen your cat becomes more active, she will be able to lead a happier, healthier life (and probably lose weight, too!)

Let's Chat:

Does your kitty struggle with obesity? If so, which of these tips on how to help your cat lose weight was the most helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

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