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Obesity in Cats

October 1 2015

Is your kitty a bit rounder than she used to be? When Fluffy jumps off the sofa, do you hear a heavy thud when she lands? If so, you may very well have a chubby cat on your hands. Obesity is very common in our feline friends. In recognition of Pet Obesity Awareness Day, which is coming up Wednesday, October 7, a local McHenry, IL vet discusses obesity in cats.

Causes of Obesity

It probably won’t come as much of a shock to find that Fluffy’s love of napping and her fondness for snacking are the most common causes of feline obesity. Occasionally, kitties will gain weight due to a medical issue. If your furball is turning into a butterball, have your vet examine her to rule out any health problems.

Dangers of Obesity

Obesity carries some very serious health threats for our feline friends. If Fluffy is overweight, she has a much higher risk of developing several dangerous health issues. Heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes, liver trouble, increased cancer risk, respiratory problems, and bone/joint issues are just a few of the medical problems associated with obesity in pets.

Preventing Obesity

Make sure you are feeding Fluffy a good, nutritious diet. Pay attention to portion control: just eating ten extra calories a day can cause cats to gain a pound a year. Cats that only eat dry food may be more prone to gaining weight, as many dry pet food formulas are very high in carbs. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.

Losing Weight

Never put Fluffy on a diet without first consulting your vet. Crash diets can make kitties very, very sick! Your feline friend will need to lose weight slowly in order to drop pounds safely. If Fluffy is, well, not just fluffy, ask your vet for advice.


It can be a bit challenging to get your furball up and moving. After all, napping is one of Kitty’s favorite pastimes! Tempt your cat into exercising by engaging her in fun, interactive play sessions. Dangle a toy mouse on a string, or use a laser pointer to get her moving. Fluffy may only play for a few minutes at a time, so aim for a few short sessions each day.

Does your kitty need to lose weight? Contact us, your local McHenry, IL vet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs.