Overweight Cat Problems

Overweight Cat Problems

Our awesome feline friends are not just our cuddly babies, but thanks to the internet, they have also been hailed as sensational icons all over the world. They are almost worshipped as trendsetters, causing cat parents and cat lovers to go gaga over these furry munchkins. However, the one cat trend that is detrimental to our precious little fur kiddos is that of idolising chubby or overweight cats.

While it is undoubtedly true that the chubby kitties are unimaginably cute, and no one can resist cuddling and snuggling them, how healthy is this trend? ‘Chonky bois’, or how the internet addresses these adorable chubby babies, are often at risk of several obesity-related feline diseases. And as this negative internet trend goes popular, more and more cat parents have started to opt for overweight cats, ignoring the many harmful effects excessive weight has on cats.

What does obesity in cats mean?

Feline furries are often known for their unparalleled love for eating and are unable to prevent themselves from overeating. Overeating or feeding more frequently than usual are potential causes of obesity in cats. Although cats are supposed to have different ideal weights at various points in their life depending on their breed, a fat cat can be considered obese if it is reported to weigh 20% more than what it is supposed to weigh.

Can cats be overweight?

Overweight cats are known to have a body weight 10-20% higher than their ideal weight. Although not as severe as being obese, being overweight can also significantly affect the normal lifestyle of furries, often causing stress and depression. Furthermore, obesity or being overweight can impair the immune system in cats, increasing the chances of contracting an infection and raising the risks of getting sick with serious health concerns.

Symptoms of obesity in cats

  1. Difficulty in jumping and climbing

    Most cats are excellent jumpers, all thanks to their agile gait and strong rear legs which make it easier for them to effortlessly jump to high grounds. However, due to their higher body mass, overweight or obese cats can face difficulty while jumping or climbing.

  2. Loss of visible waistline

    Their beautiful, slender body makes cats so distinctive from other animals. Their lean waistline also allows them to easily squeeze through narrow spaces. However, in overweight or obese cats, the body fat is usually stored around the waist, resulting in a loss of the visible waistline

  3. Unable to feel cat’s rib cage

    Running the fingers along the sides of your kitty is one of the easiest ways of determining if your cat is overweight. You will easily feel the ribcage under the skin of a cat with an ideal weight. But in overweight and obese cats you will only feel a thick layer of accumulated fat.

  4. Dirty/messy hair coat

    Their agility and flexibility allow cats to reach the most difficult parts of their body to effortlessly lick and groom themselves. However, overweight cat friends generally lose this flexibility and are unable to groom themselves in difficult spots, causing the hair coat to grow dirty and matted over time.

  5. Less frequent bowel movements

    Obese and overweight cats often face the risks of gastrointestinal problems that might cause difficulty during bowel movements. This is because the accumulated fat often causes a drag on their digestive canal, making it difficult for kitties to relieve themselves easily.

  6. Unwilling to get up and move around

    Cats usually have a playful, energetic nature. However, due to their increased weight, cats can find it difficult to actively engage in games, or easily exhaust themselves while moving around. So, most obese cats are likely to avoid getting up or moving around.

Causes of obesity in cats

  1. Not exercising

    Cats avoiding physical activities are likely to grow obese since the extra calories they consume gets stored in their body as fat.

  2. Environment

    Indoor fur kiddos often find it difficult to stay in shape due to their relaxed lifestyle, leading to overweight cats.

  3. Underlying health condition

    Certain underlying health conditions like a weak immune system, metabolic and endocrinal disorders, and so on can cause feline obesity.

  4. Type of diet

    Offering a high-caloric diet to your kitty on a regular basis can often lead to obesity and increase the overweight cat health risks.

  5. Excess serving proportion

    It is not the brightest idea to serve excess proportions to your fat cat. Cats are often unable to restrict themselves from overeating, which can lead to obesity.

  6. Rapid food consumption

    Rapid food consumption or gulping down food is a leading cause of obesity in cats causing various overweight cat problems.

  7. Excessive treats

    Offering treats in excess to your fur baby can result in obesity. Treats have a high caloric content and if offered regularly, can easily cause cats to gain extra weight.

Health risks associated with overweight or obese cats

  1. Diabetes

    Obesity reduces the natural production of insulin in the body, which is necessary for breaking down sugar. As a result, fat cats are more susceptible to becoming diabetic.

  2. Compromised immune system

    Most cats suffering from obesity have been reported to show a weak immune system, causing researchers to believe that an impaired immune system is a potential result of feline obesity.

  3. Liver failure

    Obesity prevents the liver from functioning properly leading to liver failure, which is one of the major obese cat health problems that can even be potentially fatal.

  4. Heart diseases

    Heart diseases are among the leading overweight cat problems. Feline obesity can impair the heart making it unable to actively pump blood throughout the body.

  5. Breathing problems

    Obesity can also cause excess fat to accumulate around the windpipe of cats, causing them to face difficulty while breathing, and can eventually lead to severe disorders.

  6. Dystocia (Birthing problems)

    Obesity is the leading cause of dystocia in cats. An accumulation of fat can cause weak and infrequent contractions, making it difficult for mother cats to give birth.

How to get a cat to lose weight?

  1. Calorie-controlled diet

    Having a high-caloric diet is one of the main causes of fat cats. Cats are often unable to restrict themselves from overeating. They are also extremely fond of cat treats and meats like beef and ham that have a high caloric value. You can help your kitty get in on a calorie-controlled diet consisting of well-proportioned foods with all essential nutrients to avoid overweight cat health risks.

    However, with Temptations™ Cat Treats, you can avoid incessantly worrying about your precious little munchkin getting obese. Delicious and affordable, Temptations™ Pocket have a low caloric value of 2Kcal/pocket. Your kitty is also going to love Temptations™ creamy Purrrr-ee which is only 8Kcal/sachet.

  2. Feeding schedule

    Although free feeding can be convenient for many cat parents, it often has a crucial role to play when it comes to obese cats. Since free feeding allows cats to eat whenever they feel like it, and it does not restrict them from overeating. It is, thus, not the best way to implement a calorie-controlled diet. Instead, you can opt for a special food dispenser that can be set with a feeding schedule and release food in controlled portions.

  3. Increased physical activity

    Physical activity is undoubtedly the best way to regulate obesity in cats and help them lose some extra weight. But the options for active physical exercise are quite limited for indoor cats. However, since cats love to play, why not use it to your advantage? Games like fetch demand increased physical activity and can help you create a deeper bond with your fat cat while simultaneously helping it to lose weight. Exercise wheels are also great options for indoor cats, allowing them to stay physically active while being entertained for hours and avoid various obese cat health problems.

  4. Medication

    Although certain medications have proved to be highly efficient in treating obesity in obese cats and obese cat health problems they are only recommended by veterinarians as a last resort when your furry munchkin is unable to lose weight organically or has begun showing symptoms of severe health disorders. Bupropion naltrexone, Liraglutide, and Orlistat are common drugs prescribed for cats to lose weight. However, these medications are highly potent and should be administered only if recommended by a veterinarian.

  5. Consulting vet

    While certain medications have a high success rate against obesity in cats, they must be used only after consulting professionals. So, if your little munchkin has started gaining weight rapidly, opting for a consultation with a veterinarian should be high on your priority list. Getting checked by a professional is not just helpful for obese cats, but it also helps in an early diagnosis if the obesity is being caused by an underlying health disorder. Furthermore, veterinarians are also able to suggest special diets that can help your feline friend lose excess weight organically.

Overweight Cats FAQs

  1. What should a cat weigh?

    The ideal weight of cats usually depends on their breed and age. Most kittens appear obese as infants, which is compensated as they grow up into adult cats. Depending on their breed, an adult cat should ideally weigh around 4-9kgs.

  2. If I spay or neuter my cat, will it cause them to gain weight?

    Yes, spaying or neutering sometimes causes cats to gain excess weight as it lowers the cat’s natural drive to move around in search of a mate. Spaying can also lead to a temporary hormonal imbalance, leading to an increased appetite.

  3. How do I make sure my indoor cat gets enough exercise?

    Since cats love to play, playing with them is the best way to get them to exercise. Physically demanding games like fetch is a good option. Furthermore, installing an exercise wheel can also encourage furry felines to stay in shape.

  4. Are obese cats depressed?

    Our furry feline friends are immensely loving, affectionate, and playful, and they love participating in games. However, obese and overweight cats might find it difficult to take part in physical activities and games, causing them to feel depressed and anxious.

  5. Should I see my veterinarian before starting a weight loss plan?

    Yes, cats are supposed to have different ideal weights depending on their age and breed. Furthermore, there can be an underlying disease that is causing the weight gain. So, it is crucial to see a veterinarian to rule out any risks.


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