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Obesity in cats – Causes and treatment

Cats are truly genuine companion animals and have characteristics that differentiate them very clearly from any other type of pet, among them, we can mention that although they do not have 7 lives, they do have amazing agility and are excellent jumpers.

Agility in cats is synonymous with health and the loss of this physical capacity can warn us about a problem. If the loss of agility is added to the weight gain we must understand this situation as harmful and remedy it as soon as possible.

In this article we show you the causes and treatment of obesity in cats.

Feline obesity

Obesity is a pathological condition that affects approximately 40% of dogs and cats, it is a serious situation since its appearance acts as a trigger for other diseases, such as diabetes or joint problems.

Obesity can be defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat, it is considered that a cat is overweight when it exceeds by 10% its body weight and can already be considered obese when exceeds by an 20% its ideal weight.

The risk of suffering from this disorder is especially important in adult cats whose age is between the 5 and 11 yearsHowever, on many occasions the owner is not able to assess the suitability of the body weight of his cat, for this reason, an adequate and periodic veterinary assistance will be a key factor to prevent obesity in cats.

Causes of obesity in cats

Obesity in cats does not have certain causes but rather rather you should talk about risk factors that can act negatively on the organism of our pet until it triggers an excess of weight highly dangerous for the health.

Let’s see below what are the risk factors that act as triggers of feline obesity:

  • Age: The biggest risk of obesity is suffered by cats located between the 5 and 11 years of age, therefore, preventive measures should begin to be adopted when the cat is around 2 years.
  • Gender: Male cats have a higher risk of obesity, a risk that is further increased in cases of sterilization. Many experts consider feline sterilization as the main factor associated with obesity.
  • Endocrine problems: The use of chemical contraceptives can alter the hormonal profile of the cat, which decreases the sensitivity to insulin and predisposes the body to the accumulation of fat. Other diseases such as hypothyroidism may also be present after an obese cat.
  • Race: Mestizo or common cats suffer double the risk of obesity compared to purebred cats, except for those of the Manx race that have the same risk as any common cat.
  • Environmental factors: A cat that lives with dogs is more protected against obesity, on the other hand, cats that do not live with other animals and also stay in a flat or department have a higher risk of being obese.
  • Activity: Cats that can not do outdoor physical activity have a higher risk of excess body weight.
  • Feeding: Some studies link the use of high-end foods to an increased risk of obesity. The feeding of the cat will also be one of the main factors on which to act to treat this condition.
  • Behavior of the owner: Do you tend to humanize your cat? Do not you play with him and mainly use food as positive reinforcement? This behavior has been associated with an increased risk of obesity in the feline.

Diseases that are associated with feline obesity

As mentioned initially one of the dangers of obesity lies in the fact that This condition acts as a trigger for multiple disorders and pathologies. The studies carried out so far relate obesity in cats to the appearance of the following diseases:

  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Fatty liver
  • Hypertension
  • Respiratory insufficiency
  • Infectious diseases of the urinary tract
  • Joint disease
  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Decreased immune system response

Treatment of obesity in cats

The treatment of obesity in cats requires veterinary assistance and of a firm commitment on the part of the owners, in the treatment proposed by the experts in feline nutrition we can distinguish the following stages:

  • Initial assessment: The veterinarian must assess individually the degree of overweight that the animal presents, its state of health and the risk factors that have acted on the pet.
  • Weight loss phase: It is the first phase of treatment and can last for many months. In this phase it will be essential to change the cat’s life habits, establishing a diet for obese cats and a more active lifestyle. In some cases the veterinarian may decide to also prescribe a pharmacological treatment.
  • Consolidation phase: This phase must be maintained throughout the life of the cat since the goal of it is to keep the pet at a healthy weight. Generally in this phase, physical activity is not modified, but food is modified, therefore, in order to do it correctly, veterinary supervision is essential.

Many owners feel more satisfied and relaxed when their cat begins to lose a lot of weight very quickly, however, blood tests performed later indicate that this is not always healthy.

La involvement of the owner It is essential but this should always take into account the indications given by the veterinarian.

This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Obesity in cats – Causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter in our section of Other health problems.

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