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Ways to Keep Your Cat At A Healthy Weight

Did you know that 60% of cats in the U.S. are obese? Obesity in cats are one of the main contributors in developing diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, kidney disease and more serious health issues. Obese cats also have a shorter life span than cats with a healthy weight.

Read on if you are interested in the healthiest way to keep your feline’s waistline slim and trim!

A cat’s stomach is about the size of a ping-pong ball. It is designed to hold no more than one to two tablespoons of food at one time-an amount equivalent to the edible contents of their typical prey. This is why when your cat eats a big  portion of food at one time, they tend to vomit it right back up. Their stomachs are not designed to hold that much food at once. Think about that for a minute. Now, envision the amount of food you feed your cat per day. Is the amount of food comparable to a tummy that is the size of a ping-pong ball?

Cats can be such ‘easy keepers’ that honestly, committing to ensure that they receive exercise every day can drop pretty low on the priority list of caretakers. Although this may not seem like a major issue, over time a lack of healthy exercise, as stated earlier, will absolutely eventually contribute to a host of potential health issues in cats.

So what can cat owners do to ensure that their beloved felines maintain a healthy weight? Scheduling play time with your cat can help to keep them moving and burning calories. The trick is to know your feline’s playing style in order to keep them engaged. Cats that like to interact a lot with others will appreciate a wand toy with a feather or other light toy for them to chase. Felines with a penchant for swatting tend to prefer toys that they can chase, such as a lighted ball, light throw toy or laser. A vertical tower (as high as you can realistically have in your living space) and scratching posts are usually appealing to most kitties.

Another way to keep your cat moving is to use an interactive feeding system. My pet sitting company, Furry Footsteps LLC, services clients that use a variety of interactive feeding methods to make sure that their feline family members are getting an adequate amount of exercise. With all interactive feeding systems, dry food should be used to be effective. Some cats really enjoy using the Kong Wobbler, which is actually marketed as a treat/food dispenser for dogs, but cats actually enjoy using the Wobbler as well. Some cats like using puzzle bowls, which look like a maze in a bowl. They have to use their paws to bat the food around or out of the bowl, which helps to simulate hunting and catching food. Lastly, my favorite interactive feeding system for cats is called the Indoor Hunting Feeder, which is a set of  ‘mice’ with a space on top to insert a small amount of dry food in each mouse. The person feeding will hide each mouse in different parts of the feeding area and the cat has to find each mouse and withdraw the food from the mouse. If your cat isn’t a heavy duty hunter at first or seems uninterested, make the hiding places more obvious until they become proficient at the ‘hunt’.

It may take a bit of trial and error to find out your cat’s preferred favorite type of exercise, but the time that you take to determine what they love will be time well spent.  You will add years to your cat’s life as well as contribute to their well-being and quality of life!

How do you engage in healthy physical activity with your feline? I would love to read your comments. As always, please like and share this blog with friends and family!

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