Have you noticed your cat carrying a little extra weight lately?
It may not seem like a lot, putting on an extra pound or two.
But be warned, even a slight increase in size can lead to a multitude of health problems further down the line.
One of the best ways to tip the scales back in your feline’s favour is by placing them on a natural pet food diet.
Cats thrive on high-protein diets that are complete, well-balanced, and packed full of natural ingredients.
This guide will show you how to make sure your feline is getting the best out of every meal, while maintaining a healthy weight.
How to put your cat on a diet
Making changes to a cat’s diet – even if you are introducing healthier, higher quality ingredients – should be done slowly.
Sudden adjustments can cause digestive upset, and could even result in them turning their nose up at whatever food you’re offering for months to come.
We would always recommend making the switch over across a number of days, even weeks, depending on how your cat initially responds.
Creating a weight reduction plan takes even more care and consideration.
First of all, you need to work out whether your cat is actually overweight or not. Enlisting the help of a vet at this point, to determine their ideal body weight, is highly recommended.
Once you know the magic number, you can then begin moving them on to their new diet.
Try mixing in the new food over the course of a week, slowly upping the amount each day, until the transition is complete. This will give their stomach, and their palette, time to adapt.
It could be that by simply moving them on to a natural pet food diet, you begin to see them return to a healthier weight – without the need to restrict food portions.
Regardless, it’s always a good idea to measure out your cat’s meals so you know exactly how much they’re eating. That way, once you, or your vet, has calculated an appropriate daily intake of calories, it’ll be a lot easier for you to help them stick to it.
And don’t forget to account for snacks. While there’s nothing wrong with rewarding your felines for good behaviour from time to time, don’t overdo it, and only serve up healthy treats.
5 signs that your cat needs to lose weight
- They weigh too much. It may sound like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many pet parents don’t regularly weigh their pets. A cat’s ideal weight will vary based on their breed. Once you know what that is, weighing them once a week will ensure they remain within a healthy range.
- Their shape has changed. Nobody knows your cat better than you. If you think they’re beginning to put on a bit of weight, examine their body shape from different angles. Looking directly down at them, you should be able to see their body narrow at the waist; from the side, you should be able to see a slight tummy tuck.
- Can you feel their ribs? Gently run your hands over your cat’s sides. If you’re struggling to feel their rib cage, or you’re having to apply extra pressure in order to do so, your feline is almost definitely in need of a weight reduction plan.
- Not in the mood to play. If your little ball of energy is refusing invitations for playtime, or you’ve noticed they’re not as active as usual, there’s a good chance weight gain is to blame. You may notice they’re sleeping more than usual as well. While improving your cat’s diet will almost certainly bring about a positive change in the weight department, it’s also important to ensure they’re exercising regularly, too.
- Grooming problems. Extra weight can make it difficult for felines to groom themselves. If they are struggling to reach/clean certain parts of their body, you may begin to notice increased matting, or a greasy, unkempt coat. Until they’re able to adequately carry out their grooming duties, you will be required to lend a hand.
What is the best natural food for a cat to eat?
At Encore, we recommend feeding your feline a combination of both wet and dry cat food to ensure that their diet is as nutritious and wholesome as possible.
Our tasty kibbles are made with 80% lean animal protein, natural omega oils and essential nutrients; while our wet food recipes are made with natural ingredients, and up to 75% real meat. They, along with added sugars, can also lead to obesity, which is why Encore is, and always will be, natural first.
Natural, and tasty.
Chicken Breast in Broth Tin, Tuna with Salmon in Jelly Tin, Tuna Fillet with Prawn in Broth Pouch – these are just some of the delicious recipes we know your cat will love the second they take their first bite.
Remember, good hydration is also a vital part of a feline’s diet, so ensure fresh drinking water is available at all times.
Don’t rush the weight loss process
Patience is key when it comes to helping your cat lose weight. Cutting food, or increasing exercise, drastically, could actually make them seriously ill. So, bide your time. Just as weight gain can happen gradually over the course of a few weeks or months, so can weight loss.
As long as you’re feeding them a complete and well-balanced diet, packed with natural goodness, you can be confident they’re on the right track.
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