Originally Answered: how do u get a fat lazy cat to lose weight?
Hi there...generally, it's first recommended to discuss an appropriate weight loss guideline with your vet. Sudden changes in dietary requirements can be distressing to a cat and could contribute to other health problems. Cats who have dramatic caloric intake can suffer from something called fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) which shuts the liver down and is fatal. Therefore, before beginning any weight loss plan, please be sure to get approval from the vet to make sure this will not cause any other un-necessary health problems for your cat. Some cats can be overweight as a result of thyroid problems so this should be checked as well.
In the wild, animals will naturally eat what they need and no more. The task of searching for food and other basic necessities involves lots of exercise and so wild animals remain naturally fit and healthy.
The food available to them in their natural habitat is perfectly designed to meet their needs in an environment that has not been tampered with.
Domestic animals are provided with food which they do not have to hunt for and which is not always suited for their bodies. Cats who are free fed as well as given table scraps are more noted to have obesity problems because they eat out of boredom. In addition, they are often exposed to a lifestyle which contributes to sluggish metabolism, underactive thyroids and livers which are not able to remove toxins or eliminate unwanted fat from their bodies.
Most commercial grade cat foods contain corn, corn meal which are fillers (carbohydrates) that bind the dry food together as a way of keeping foods lasting longer. Try finding cat food products which are devoid of these ingedients. The first ingredients should show chicken, chicken meal, etc. Most show the first ingredients as corn on the ingredient labels. IAMs, Science Diet, Purina, Whiskas, Friskies ...all have corn listed as the main ingredient. Cats who eat these tend to always feel hungry because the carbs don't metabolize fast enough and cats are obligate carnivores so they need a diet devoid of these types of carbs. Products such as Innova EVO, Nature's Variety Prairie, James Wellbeloved (UK), are premium brands. Most cats who eat these find that they do not eat to eat as much because their appetite is better satiated.
Additionally, it's important to schedule feed a cat so you can monitor servings taken in during the day. Each product lists the recommended servings based on a age and weight. For an overweight cat you would be reducing the intake gradually by 10% each week that the vet recommends is an appropriate caloric intake. Cats who are switched from a free-fed diet shoudl be fed multiple times a day (if permittable) such as once in the morning, mid-day, and then evening before your bedtime.
When switching to a new brand of cat food it is also important to note that sudden changes can cause sever bowel distress. Cats have very sensitive digestive systems so the quick change will cause bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting. Any vet can confirm this fact. Cat food should be changed gradually by mixing the current brand with the new brand over the course of several weeks. For example you would take 3/4 servings of the old cat food to 1/4 servings with the new for one week...then the next week 1/2 to 1/2...then following 1/4 of the old to 3/4 of the new in the third week before completing the switch in the final week.
Furthermore, some cats can take off the weight faster by feeding a canned food diet. For some reason the hydration in the canned products helps metabolize food better and are also completely devoid of carbohydrates, which is more optimal for the feline's body. When cats eat raw meat in the wild they get hydration from the fresh meat juices as well as some roughage from the animals who are natural herbivores. A mixture of canned and dry are always best for cats in the long-term, which many people are unaware of. We are have been exposed to so many commercial ads regarding dry food for cats, but in reality it's the manufacturer's who benefit rather than the cats. Cats are not naturally designed to eat dry--the products were designed for convenience for the owner.
Here's an article about commercial cat food; dry vs. canned, proper nutritional needs, etc: http://www.consumersearch.com/www/family...
Finally, most cats become bored with toys quickly. It's important to rotate them by hiding them and then bringing them back out again so the appear to be like new toys. Interactive toys are the best ones to use to get a cat moving such as a laser light. Most cats love chasing the light. The goal is to get the cat to move back and forth at least for 5 minutes to begin as some tire more easily than others especially if they are overweight. You can increase play time more if they enjoy it. Some cats love chasing feather teasers tied on a string too. Experiment to what gets your cat moving. Just please remember most overweight cats tire easily so keep the sessions short and fun. Interactive toys are the best ways to get your cat to exercise rather than leaving toys for them to play with. They only bat at those and really don't move enough. Not only does the interactive toys work better, but it's a bonding experience for both of you as well.