As awareness about health and nutrition is spreading across the globe, we humans are constantly seeking healthier choices to snack on. The same care and consideration should go towards picking the right treats for your cats as well, to ensure cat obesity prevention. Overindulgence in treats can easily lead to obesity in cats. Feline obesity is linked to a higher incidence and/or increased severity of osteoarthritis, hepatic lipidosis (a potentially fatal type of liver disease), diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer. Nutritionists advise that treats should constitute only around 10% of a cat’s daily diet.
Treats differ from regular wet or dry cat food, as they are not complete and balanced meals. They are meant for occasional indulgence. Too many treats can upset the nutritional balance of the regular ration. For example, some cat treats contain 85% protein - far higher than the amount of protein found in an appropriate cat food formulation.
Too many treats may also dampen your cat's appetite for regular food. This can contribute to a nutritional imbalance in the long term, and can turn your kitty into a 'fussy eater,' making it particularly challenging to use special diets, should the need arise, to manage a disease nutritionally.
Feline weight management by tracking the exact amount of calories that your cat is consuming through treats can be challenging because calorie count information for pet foods is not as readily available as it is for human foods. An average 10-pound cat has a daily calorie requirement of around 275 calories. It is advisable to discuss your cat’s specific dietary requirements with your veterinarian. Most cats should consume less than 30 calories a day in the form of treats, including any human foods you might be sharing with them.
Many pet guardians are unaware that their cat is overweight. Extra weight can directly impact the life expectancy and overall health of our feline friends. Diabetes and feline lower urinary tract disease are the most common medical consequences of obesity in cats. To help put things into perspective, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has a pet-to-human weight calculator you can use to understand how much your cat weighs in human terms. The website also gives you access to insightful cat obesity statistics.
Obese cats have higher anesthetic risks and medical costs, and will require special consideration when dosing medications with narrow safety ranges. It is recommended to take your cat for annual veterinary check ups so that your veterinarian can track changes in weight and overall body condition from year to year, and assist in your cat obesity prevention efforts.
Upon consultation with your veterinarian, if you determine that your cat needs to lose weight, here are some strategies that could help in the feline weight management process:
Encourage more movement by moving the food bowl and litter box around your home. Change their location each day, so your cat has to seek them out.
Use a treat or toy feeding ball to make your cat trade some physical effort for a yummy snack.
Multiple small meals over the course of the day will keep your cat from feeling very hungry at one time of day.
Try using an automatic feeder which releases food at a preset time each day, carefully measuring and controlling the amount of calories your cat receives.
30 minutes of playtime with your cat each day, using a variety of toys, will increase calorie burn, and also strengthen your bond.
Petsy online brings you a wide variety of cat treats to delight your furry friend. Choose from crunchy treats, creamy treats, chewy treats and more. Take your pick from select brands such as Kittos, Me-O, Temptations, Sheba, iams low fat cat food, Royal Canin cat treats, and several other popular treat brands - which bring you best treats for kittens and cats. Choose from a range of flavours to find what your kitty loves.
Remember to regulate how many, and how often, you give treats to your cat. We wish your kitty a healthy, happy and content life, with tiny little treats from time to time!