Obesity in Cats – Causes and Treatment
Cats are genuinely genuine companion animals and have characteristics that distinguish them very clearly from any other type of pet, among them we can mention that despite not having 7 lives, they have an amazing agility and are excellent jumpers.
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Agility in cats is synonymous with health and the loss of this physical capacity can warn us about some problem. If the loss of agility comes together with weight gain we must understand this situation as harmful and remedy it as soon as possible.
In this article of YourCatCareguide we show you the causes and treatment of obesity in cats .
Obesity is a pathological condition that affects approximately 40% of dogs and cats , it is a serious situation since its appearance acts as a trigger for other diseases such as diabetes or joint problems.
Obesity can be defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. A cat is considered to be overweight when it exceeds its ideal body weight by 10% and can be considered obese when it exceeds its ideal weight by 20%.
The risk of suffering from this disorder is especially important in adult cats whose age is between 5 and 11 years, however, on numerous occasions the owner is not able to assess the suitability of your cat’s body weight, proper and periodic veterinary care will be a key factor in preventing obesity in cats .
Causes of Obesity in Cats
Obesity in cats does not have certain causes, there is what we should call risk factors that can act negatively on the body of our pet until triggering a weight excess that is highly dangerous for health.
Let’s see next what are the risk factors that act as triggers of feline obesity :
- Age : The highest risk of obesity is experienced by cats between 5 and 11 years of age, therefore, preventive measures should begin to be adopted when the cat is around 2 years old.
- Sex : Male cats have a higher risk of obesity, a risk that is seen to increase even more in cases of sterilization. Many experts consider feline sterilization as the main factor associated with obesity.
- Endocrine problems : The use of chemical contraceptives can alter the hormonal profile of the cat, which decreases insulin sensitivity and predisposes the body to accumulation of fat. Other diseases such as hypothyroidism may also be present in an obese cat.
- Breed : Mice or common cats suffer double the risk of obesity in relation to purebred cats, with the exception of the Manx breed that has the same risk as any other common cat.
- Environmental factors : A cat that lives with dogs is more protected against obesity, on the other hand, cats that do not live with other animals and also remain in an apartment have a greater risk of being obese.
- Activity : Cats that can not perform physical activity outdoors have a greater risk of suffering an excess of body weight.
- Feeding : Some studies associate the use of high-end foods with a greater risk of obesity. Feeding the cat will also be one of the key factors on which you should act to treat this condition.
- Owner’s behavior : Do you tend to humanize your cat? Do not you play with it and mainly use food as a positive reinforcement ? This behavior is associated with a higher risk of obesity in the feline.
Diseases that are associated with feline obesity
As has been said before, one of the dangers of obesity lies in the fact that this condition acts as a trigger for various disorders and pathologies . Studies to date relate obesity in cats with the appearance of the following diseases:
- Fatty liver
- Respiratory insufficiency
- Urinary Tract Infectious Diseases
- Joint disease
- Exercise intolerance
- Decreased immune system response
Treatment of obesity in cats
Treating obesity in cats requires veterinary care and a firm commitment on the part of owners. In the treatment proposed by the specialists in feline nutrition we can distinguish the following steps:
- Initial assessment : The veterinarian should evaluate individually the degree of overweight that the animal presents, its state of health and the risk factors that have acted on the animal.
- Weight loss phase : It is the first phase of the treatment and can last for many months. At this stage it will be essential to change the life habits of the cat, establishing a diet for obese cats and a more active lifestyle. In some cases the veterinarian may decide to prescribe a pharmacological treatment as well.
- Consolidation Phase : This phase should be maintained throughout the life of the cat since the purpose of it is to keep the cat at a healthy weight. Usually at this stage does not modify physical activity but rather the feeding, therefore, to do it correctly is essential veterinary supervision.
Many owners feel more satisfied and relaxed when their cat begins to lose a lot of weight very quickly, however, the blood tests performed later indicate that this is not always healthy.
The implication of the owner is essential but this should always take into account the indications given by the veterinarian.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you would like to read more articles the description of Obesity in cat – Causes and treatment we recommend that you come to our section on Other health problems .