Is your cat overweight?  Now might be the time to start thinking about a New Year’s resolution for your cat.  “Cat Obesity has become a serious and widespread health issue.  A recent veterinary survey indicates that 29% of 8,000 cats are overweight or obese.  Extra weight, even a pound or two, can lead to other, more serious health issues.“ *  Some of the typical health concerns for overweight cats are diabetes, respiratory problems, arthritis, and heart disease.

But there is hope for improving your cat’s overall health in the New Year.  First, consult your veterinarian on a comprehensive program that relies on good nutrition and portion control combined with exercise and playtime.   There are several good foods on the market that can provide good nutrition while at the same time reducing the total caloric intake for your cat.  Just reducing the portions of the current food will also reduce the essential vitamins and nutrients your cat needs and is not recommended.  Low fat or low calorie cat foods are nutritionally sound and generally recommended for weight loss.  If your cat just needs weight management light or lean foods are usually recommended.

Portion control is also a key part of the program.  Following the nutritionally recommended portions and avoiding high calorie treats is important.

Setting aside time each day to play with your cat can help it get the needed exercise and is also essential to improving your cat’s health.  Playing with catnip mice, laser lights, feathers, etc. are a great way to interact with your cat and help improve its normally sedentary lifestyle.  Why not start the New Year’s out right for your cat, so that you will have many more happy years together?

“Small Animal Clinical Nurtition,” 5th Edition, Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush, Novotny.  Copyright 2010 by Mark Morris Institute