How to create a weight reduction plan for your cat

How to help a cat lose weight is a common pet parent dilemma.

It’s one that also requires a carefully thought out approach. 

Pet obesity is becoming an increasingly big problem across the globe, with the associated health risks very real, and potentially very serious.

You’ve likely heard the terms ‘crash diet’ and ‘fasting’. These types of weight loss plans can trigger severe health complications in felines, and should never be considered. 

Withholding food from a cat for any sustained period of time can be extremely dangerous. 

The most effective way to help a cat lose weight is to develop a targeted diet plan.

If you are concerned about your cat’s weight or diet, speak to a vet or pet nutritionist first, who will advise you on the most suitable dietary changes you can make.

Slow, steady weight loss, with a focus on high-quality foods, will be the key tenets of any programme. 

What are the signs that your cat needs to lose weight?

  • Your cat weighs too much. You may be able to tell this just from looking at them, but weighing your feline periodically is the best way to see if they are developing a weight problem.
  • Heavy to pick up. A cat who used to be as light as a feather, but is now proving difficult to lift, may need to go on a diet plan.
  • Can you feel their ribs? Run your hands over your cat’s sides. If you can’t feel their ribs, you may have an obese cat on your hands. Apply gentle pressure to their stomach as well; it should go in, not bulge out.
  • Overeating. Is your cat constantly begging for food? Or finishing off their meals too quickly? This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hungry, it may mean they’re plain greedy.
  • Increased lethargy. Overweight cats have a tendency not to be as active, or as outgoing, as their fitter, healthier counterparts. You may also notice them sleeping more than usual.

How to create a weight reduction diet plan for your cat

The first step a pet parent needs to take when creating a weight reduction plan is establishing a goal. 

This can be a little tricky as the average weight of a cat varies depending on the breed. For the majority of domestic cats, somewhere between 3.5kg and 5kg is generally considered a healthy weight. Size guides can be found online, but it may be a good idea to take your feline to a vet for a check-up first if you’re concerned. Once you have determined how much weight your cat needs to lose, you need to settle on a timeframe. Take things slow and steady. You want your cat to lose weight gradually, over an extensive period of time. Rushing a weight loss programme, or severely limiting their calories, will only result in further health complications. 

As a general rule of thumb, it’s safe for felines to lose around 1% of their bodyweight per week until they reach their target weight. So, if your feline weighs 7kg and your goal is for them to lose 2kg, having them drop 70g a week is where you will need to start.

Take note of your cat’s weight every two weeks. This will ensure you know whether they’re remaining on track, and provide you with the information needed to recalculate the amount of calories you’re feeding them.

Any diet you do feed your feline should always be complete, well-balanced, and packed full of goodness.

Encore recommends feeding your cat a mix of dry and wet food so they’re receiving a complete diet that is varied in tastes and textures. Both can be utilised effectively in any weight loss plan. 

Portion control is easy with kibble – just make sure you’re not leaving full bowls out all day for them to graze on. Wet food on the other hand, has fewer calories, and all that extra moisture will help keep them fuller for longer. 

Encore recipes are made with 100% natural ingredients and up to 75% real meat. They’re seriously tasty, too. 

Chicken Breast with Brown Rice in Broth Pouch, Tuna Fillet in Broth Tin and Chicken Breast with Tuna Roe in Broth Pot are just some of the mouth-watering meals your cat will absolutely love. 

Treats are another part of a feline’s diet we need to pay close attention to. Too many unhealthy snacks and it won’t be long before your cat’s weight begins to balloon. 

Encore loins are natural, tasty, and rich in taurine and essential omega oils. The perfect treat for a well-behaved feline!  

Even if you’re transitioning your cat on to a healthier diet, don’t rush the switch. Some cats have extremely sensitive stomachs, so plan on giving them at least a week or two to adjust to new ingredients. 

When should I seek veterinary help?

A detailed and well thought-out weight loss plan should see an overweight feline on the path to a healthier lifestyle in no time at all. 

If you don’t notice their weight dropping after a month or two, or they’ve actually started increasing in size, contact your vet. 

There may be an underlying medical condition that requires attention, or it could be that their diet still needs tweaking.


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