Noticing that your cat is carrying some extra weight might seem like something you want to control right away. While helping your cat to lose weight is a must for them to enjoy a healthy and long life, going about it the wrong way can be dangerous. Here's why your cat has to lose weight gradually in order to get to a healthy weight safely.
Problem With Not Eating
One common problem pet owners often face when it comes to helping their cats to lose weight is attempting to get them to diet. Cutting down on the amount of food your cat eats may seem like a good idea, but without proper guidance, it can quickly turn ugly.
Cats' bodies aren't exactly like humans'. While a cat can survive off of its fat stores for a while, it's not easy on their bodies. In the wild, they typically don't carry much if any extra fat, so their bodies have lost some of their ability to burn fat the way that we do. That is to say, cats who go hungry may end up burning calories as fuel, but it could hurt them.
Fatty Liver Disease
The problem with dieting for cats is that they may end up with fatty liver disease. This is something that happens to the liver when it's forced to cope with breaking down too much fat. Once this happens, the liver can become sick and unable to process anything as well as it used to, which is a big problem, as the liver helps in your cat's entire blood circulation process.
Fatty liver disease isn't always lethal, but it can be quite dangerous without treatment. If you've already put your cat on a diet and noticed that they're acting lethargic or having problems with throwing up, that could be a bad sign and one that should encourage you to see a vet right away.
What to Do
If your cat isn't ill and you haven't started trying to take control of their weight yet, you should start by seeing a veterinarian.
Your vet will be able to assess your cat's bodily condition, first of all. While you might think they look a little tubby, they could actually be a healthy weight. Alternatively, what seems like a little excess weight could be a lot. Your vet will help you to determine what your cat needs to lose to reach a healthy place.
Once that's accomplished, your vet will create a plan to help your cat to lose weight. They will likely suggest a specific type and amount of food for your cat to feed them on a daily basis. This will help to ensure that they get enough calories to stay healthy but have enough of a deficit to slowly lose the weight.
Don't put your cat on a sudden diet to try and help them with their weight problem. Consult with a veterinarian office, like Parkview Animal Hospital, so you can ensure that your cat isn't hurt by your attempt to help.