Monitoring your cat’s weight is one of the most essential elements of proactive pet care. In fact, pet obesity continues to be an overlooked animal issue in the U.S., as 55 percent of cats are considered overweight, with 15 percent of cat owners reported to be unaware of their pet’s obesity.
Failing to successfully manage your cat’s weight can lead to a variety of health issues for your pet, including:
● Reduced life expectancy
● Increased risk in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious diseases
● Degeneration of bones and joints
● Development of urinary bladder stones
● High blood pressure and more
Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to combat the risks of pet obesity is by providing your cat with a nutritious diet plan that will help them look and feel their best.
If you’re trying to help your furry friend lose a few pounds and maintain a healthy, active weight, here are a few tips to create the best cat diet plan for your feline.
Cater to Their Carnivore Instincts
Cats are natural carnivores and their bodies thrive off of animal-based protein. It’s generally recommended that cats receive food that is high in moisture and animal-based protein, while being on the lighter side in terms of carbohydrates. This is why canned food is usually a better food option for cats over dry kibble, as kibble tends to lack both moisture and protein.
Well Balanced Meals
Just as us humans need all the vitamins and minerals we can handle, so do our furry feline companions.
In addition to protein and occasional servings of fat, cats need a stable balance of the following nutrients in all of their meals:
● Vitamins A, B12, D3, and E
● Minerals, such as calcium, sodium, and magnesium
● Fatty and amino acids
You should be able to look at the nutrition label of your cat food and see a list of such nutrients that are also approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Adjust As They Age
Young kittens have different nutritional needs than older cats, and adjusting their diets as they age is an essential part of your cat’s diet plan.
If you own a kitten, you’ll want to provide them with a more simplistic diet that emphasizes calories, starting them off with formulas until they become five to eight weeks old, in which case you’ll want to begin implementing a mix of dry and wet food that starts to incorporate all of the aforementioned nutrients.
As for older cats, moisture and protein are, again, the two primary components of a healthy meal that suits their nutritional needs. In addition to reducing the amount of fat in your cat’s food as they age, it’s also recommended that senior cats be put on a grain-free diet, which can do wonders for addressing any noticeable weight gain.
While most cat owners tend to leave out cat food for their pets to graze on it whenever they please, a good way to help keep their weight in check is to start implementing specific times of the day for meals. Provide them with set quantities of food that have been approved by your veterinary clinic, which will curb overfeeding habits and help them reduce any unnecessary weight.
Veterinary Care You Can Count On
At the end of the day, it’s essential to keep in touch with your veterinarian in regards to what is the best course of action for your cat’s diet. At Normandale Veterinary Hospital, our team of pet care professionals will be able to monitor your cat’s weight while offering helpful solutions in terms of providing nutritious meals for your pet.
If your cat needs a checkup, contact us today to schedule an appointment, or give us a call at 952-831-8272 to speak with one of our veterinarians directly.