Overweight Cat : We Can Help

Overweight Cat : We Can Help

Carmella the cat . Read more.... How to recognize when a few extra pounds could be a sign of a health related issue.

Weight Gain - Is it more than just overeating ?

Could the extra weight gain be contributing to, or leading toward other health issues?

Carmella's Weight Loss Journey

Carmella came to see us at Animal Hospital Of Cambridge in November 2018 because her owners were noticing she was having a hard time getting around. She was especially having a hard time getting up from a laying position.

Cats who become overweight are at increased risk of developing a number of health related conditions, such as Diabetes, Arthritis, and Lower Urinary Tract Disease.

Overweight cats may also struggle to groom themselves properly and can end up with a matted or greasy hair coat, with dandruff particularly over their rump because they just can’t reach.

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Consult Your Veterinarian

Before starting Carmella’s weight loss program we performed an examination and complete blood test on Carmella to screen for any underlying health issues.

Thankfully her bloodwork came back normal which meant we could now focus on her weightloss journey.

Carmella was however diagnosed with Arthritis.

90% of cats over age 12 often suffer in silence from arthritis because they are so good a hiding illnesses and pain.

Signs that your cat may be suffering from arthritis :

• Hiding

• Stiffness

• Spends more time sleeping than they used to, no longer plays with their toys

• Lack of appetite, or being too sore to walk to the dish

• Personality changes

• Decreased grooming because its too painful to bend or stretch

• Eliminating outside the litter box, perhaps stepping up into it is painful

• Difficulty rising from a resting position

• Reluctance or inability to jump – up or down especially when they used to do it before

• Muscle atrophy ( = muscle loss) in the affected leg(s)

Treat The Pain To Increase Comfort and Promote Movement & Activity

Dr. Sophie started Carmella on a prescription of  Metacam ( NSAID) for pain, and Cosequin ( Joint supplement) to support joint health.

Helping Carmella to feel less pain in her joints would help promote more movement in her every day activites.

Once her pain was addressed we began Carmella on our PETFIT weight loss program which included:

-regular weigh-ins

-a calculated portion of prescription weight loss diet formulated to support weightloss ( Royal Canin Satiety)

-continued support from one of our RVTs who will make suggestions to help her pet parents help her lose weight and stay on track

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Carmella loved the Royal Canin weight loss diet Satiety food that was recommended.

Her diligent pet parent's have brought her in for her regular weigh ins. Carmella is losing weight and is already feeling better.

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Carmella's Weight Loss Graph - Tracking Progress

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Carmella waits patiently for her 'weigh in'

Pet owners will often notice that their pets feel better with healthy weight loss and may begin to do some of the things they stopped doing because of it.

Pets who are just a bit overweight can sometimes lose weight by simply eating less of their current diet, but pets who are very overweight really need to eat a diet specifically designed for weight loss.

While there are a number of over-the-counter cat foods that are mildly calorie-reduced and labeled as “low-calorie,” “light,” or “healthy weight", they are not likely low enough to promote a significant or adequate weightloss.

Simply cutting back in portions of a cat's regular diet may not promote proper nutrition and lead to malnutrition.   Your pet may end up being hungry all the time which can lead to begging or stealing of food.

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Cats who are significantly overweight or obese may benefit from a prescription weight loss diet. These diets are formulated to be low in calories, high in fiber, and nutritionally complete, even when fed in very restricted amounts.

Some diets help your pet to “feel full” which may aide in less begging or stealing of food. These special weight loss diets need to be prescribed by a veterinary professional.

While managing your cat’s calorie intake is going to be the most important part of their weight loss journey ( done by measuring food on a gram scale), increasing physical activity is also important because it will help them to build muscle and raise their resting metabolic rate.

Ideas to help your kitty to lose weight:

-introduce fun laser pointers or feather toys

- attempt to have at least one active play session with your cat daily, more if your schedule allows

- make sure your home has vertical spaces for your cat to explore, such as a cat tree or cat shelving

-separate your cats food and water dish to increase foot traffic between the dishes

- using food dispensing toys that require your kitty to move it around for the food to fall out to eat

- cats who enjoy outdoor time might enjoy short walks with a leash and harness may increase their physical activity and provide mental enrichment ( just be sure to use flea prevention)

Making sure your cat is at an appropriate weight, or moving towards an appropriate weight, while maintaining muscle mass is one of the most important things you can do for your cats health.

Regular rechecks and conversations with your veterinarian or RVT are important when implementing your cat’s diet plan to ensure that weight loss is occurring safely and effectively.

Overweight Cat : We Can Help


Ideally cats should lose weight slowly, but at a steady rate of 0.5-1% each week.

Like anyone who is battling with weight loss, sometimes cats will hit a plateau. When this recognized, we will adjust the food portion gradually so that your pets nutritional needs will still be met.

We look forward to helping Carmella on her weight loss journey to reach her optimum health benefits.

A special thank you to her pet parents for all that they do to support and ensure Carmella stays on the right track toward reaching her weightless goals and reaching optimal health.

Overweight Cat : We Can Help

Animal Hospital of Cambridge

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