Let’s face it – in January, we’d all like to get healthier after the excesses of the festive season. But advance planning is really important for success… and that goes for cats, too.
So, led by our vet Paul, the team at Rockingham Road Vets has put together a few pointers for cat owners who’d like to help their pet improve their physical condition in the new year. Please see below for our guidance.
Plus, if you’re very worried about a particular aspect of your cat’s health – weight or otherwise – then we recommend that you book an appointment with us so that we can assess the problem.
Know your cat’s condition
Can you see your cat’s waistline? And easily feel their spine and ribs? If not, this is usually a good indication that they’re carrying a few more pounds than they should be. Also, every time you visit us, you can weigh your cat so you can compare the results with breed guidelines.
Have fun with your cat
Playtime isn’t just great for bonding and entertainment, but also for fitness. After all, humans love taking part in sport for the same mix of reasons – so why shouldn’t your cat? They might only play in short bursts, but you’ll soon notice what’s most likely to get them excited and moving.
Portion control and timings
Your cat should have a feeding routine with carefully measured quantities of food. If you keep feeding, they may well keep eating… so don’t assume your cat is starving just because they finish all their food and seem to want more. All reputable cat foods feature a guide to ideal daily amounts, based on weight and age. You must also be very careful about the number of treats you offer each day.
Understand the importance of fitness
An overweight cat is at greater risk from conditions like diabetes, arthritis, liver problems, heart disease and breathing difficulties – all of which can severely impact on their quality of life; and threaten it, too. Knowing about these dangers provides pretty strong motivation to keep your cat as healthy as possible.
Another word of warning: While it’s good to make sure your cat’s intake is in line with recommended levels, no cat should ever go on a sudden diet without veterinary advice. Cats can become very ill if they suddenly have too little to eat, even if they appear to have lots of fat to burn.
If you think your cat would benefit from losing weight, give us a call on 01536 407778 so we can arrange a chat with our vet nurses – then, if necessary, we can refer your cat to one of our vets for treatment.