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What’s wrong with a fat cat?
The idea of a fat cat is appealing to many people. Not only do the words rhyme and sound cute together, some owners find chubby cats cuter and cuddlier than cats that are a healthy weight. Even if you take pet obesity seriously, it is easy for a cat to put on a few pounds.
A recent study in the Journal of Small Animal Practice found that many owners and vets disagree about whether the animal is overweight or not. The study found that four in five owners said they had talked about their dog's weight with the vet, and when the dog's weight was normal, the two usually agreed on it. However, when the dog was overweight, 40 percent of owners disagreed with the vet about whether the dog was overweight. Among very overweight dogs, most owners admitted that the animal was carrying a few extra pounds, but underestimated how many exactly.
Even among the most overweight dogs and cats, veterinarians are often faced with excuses from the owners about why. Many owners say they don't have enough time to walk or exercise their pets, while others will go on about how they feed them treats and human food because the pooch or kitty is just so cute. Next time you think about rewarding your pet for being cute with a treat, consider how it can actually harm the animal in the long run.
Obesity makes cats and dogs alike more prone to a number of serious health problems that can shorten their lives or make them much more uncomfortable. Moderately overweight pets often have to take more pet drugs for chronic conditions than those maintain a healthy weight. Cats that are overweight are prone to arthritis and liver disease, and their risk for diabetes doubles when they are overweight. That means an obese cat is eight times more likely to develop this chronic condition than a cat that is a healthy weight.
Of course, helping a cat lose weight is slightly harder than helping a dog. The first thing to do is to switch to a weight loss pet food like Now Grain Free Senior Recipe to help trim the unused calories from the feline's diet.
Pet products like the Whisker World Cat Tree Condo might get your cat moving during the day, since it has fun places to climb and hide and a hanging rope toy to bring out the cat's predatory instinct. You should also set aside some time to engage your cat in physical activity throughout the day. Spend 15 minutes in the morning getting your cat to run around after a toy like the Burlap Heart Catnip Toy, and then 15 minutes in the evening playing with another toy like AppeTeaser Plush Catnip Cat Toy.
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