With everyone under the one roof all day, there is a risk our cats usual slim, svelte frames may become challenged – not to mention our own!
While our pooches tend to love having us around constantly, our felines may be wondering where their quiet life and solitude went to! Each and every morning they are quizzically asking, “Why are you still here?” or “Aren’t you meant to be at work?”
However cats being cats can turn the situation to their advantage. If there is going to be a human around all the time, then they can feed me all the time! And not just one human, my many humans can give me many snacks and treats! All I have to do is stand by the fridge or pantry, look adoring and pretend I am starving by crying “Meowwwww!” It’s that easy.
Don’t let these cunning felines be in charge, manipulating their food bowl top ups, as this will lead to inevitable weight gain. So how do you help your Kitty keep their ‘summer ready bod’?
1. Feed treats from their daily ration. Measure their daily calorie intake factoring in canned food or pouches with a component of kibble using a measuring cup or scale. Feed the wet food at breakfast and dinner, keeping the kibble for treats.
2. Play with your cat. If they meow for food play with them instead. This can help keep them trim and also mentally stimulated. Try a pole with feathers attached at the end with some string, use a laser pointer on the wall, or roll a ball of tinfoil or crumpled paper across the floor.
3. Invest in a food puzzle. Increase their activity by placing kibble into the toys to tap into their natural curiosity and hunting instincts. They are also great for their mental enrichment.
4. Treats don’t replace love! Spend time holding, cuddling and stroking your cat instead of falling into the ‘meow-treat’ trap which just encourages more begging. Petting a cat has been shown to have benefits for the owner’s health and well-being too!
5. Remember when NOT to give a treat. Never give a treat if you are in the kitchen preparing food or eating food at the table –again, this just encourages more begging.
If your cat is already overweight, it is not a good idea to simply cut down on the amount of food or treats you give as this not going to be complete and balanced and may even cause harm. It’s best to have you cat assessed by a veterinarian who will design a weight loss program specifically for your cat ensuring the weight loss is steady and safe.
Part of this program will likely include recommending a weight management food such as Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic. Hill’s Metabolic provides all the nutrition your cat needs during weight loss and maintenance. A synergistic blend of ingredients works naturally with your cat’s unique metabolism and helps avoid weight regain after weight loss.
To learn more about weight management for you cat please go to https://www.hillspet.com.au/health-conditions/cat/weight-management
Dr Delisa Appleton BVSc (Hons) PhD
Professional Consulting Veterinarian
Hill’s Pet Nutrition Pty Ltd
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