Overweight cat

What Are The Health Risks For an Overweight Cat?

As obesity in humans increases, so to is a concerning incerase being seen in the rate of obese cats and dogs.

Obesity is considered a disease, and a preventable one at that. It’s thought that up to 35% of pet cats in the US are obese and up to almost half of older cats weighing more than they should.

So what cost is this extra weight having on the health of cats?

No cat should be overweight or obese, and those that are are at heightened risks of serious health problems; just like overweight humans.

Overweight Cat Causes

You don’t have to be Einstein (or the veterinary equivalent) to work out what causes weight gain and obesity in most cats: over eating and lack of activity. Some cats are predisposed to putting on and storing weight due to healthy issues (hypothyroid?..), and these ones require extra focus and attention in maintaining a healthy weight. But in many cases, we do have to look at our own habits when it comes to why our cat might be overweight. In so many cases, it comes down to what is being fed, and how much of it. We all love to see our cats happily eating, especailly as they get immense joy from it (or so it seems!), and it can be so easy to feed too much. But this is to the detriment of your cat’s health in the long run. The more weight a cat puts on, the more difficutl and longer it takes to help them lose it. So clearly, avoiding excessive weight gain in the first place is ideal, but if you’ve adopted an overweight cat, or perhaps just noticed that your cat is carrying extra weight, today is the best day to start doing something about it.

Health Risks for Overweight Cats

Fat cats are at increased risk for a lot of health problems, with many of them being very serious.

These include:

  • Reduced life expectancy
  • Increased risk of cancers
  • Higher risk of complications happening under anesthetic

Quality of Life

A cat carrying excess weight is going to be an uncomfortable cat. This discomfort, and the lowered energy that comes with, results in changes in the behavior of a normal healthy cat. This can range from being even less inclined to move around (thus putting on more weight), difficulty in grooming (leading to matted hair and poor coat), becoming increasingly lethargic, and issues in using the litter box. All of these aspects lead to a decreased quality of life for a cat, and move him further toward a decline in health and increased risk of major health problems.

Anesthesia

increased risk of complications under anesthetic?

Diabetes

Kidney Problems (kidney disease?)

overweight cat leaking urine
overweight cat not using litter box
fat cat drinks a lot of water
my cat drinks a lot of water and is overweight
overweight cat urinating on bed

Arthritis

fat cat can’t jump
overweight cat lethargic

Shortened Lifespan

overweight cat is limping
overweight cat lifespan
average lifespan overweight indoor cat

How To Help Your Cat Lose Weight

vet diagnosis – see if any underlying problems to treat
exercise – toys (link)
food inc. prescription diets and raw.


Resources
The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats1–3. Alexander J. German4

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