How to Put an Obese Cat on a Diet

Reducing the amount of food, replacing it with natural food, or mixing food with a little water are some of the solutions to help an obese cat lose weight.
How to Put an Obese Cat on a Diet

Last update: 03 March, 2021

Cats’ insatiable appetites can lead us to make the mistake of feeding them more food than they actually need. This can, at the very least, lead to weight gain that could lead to more serious problems. If this has happened to your pet, these steps on how to put an obese cat on a diet will come in handy.

Why does feline obesity occur?

Sometimes we take it for granted that our pets won’t have certain diseases that we suffer from as humans because they’re animals. Let’s not fool ourselves though; although we’re very different, our insides are very similar. We have the same organs, the same fluids, and everything works in a very similar way. So, yes, although it sounds strange, cats can suffer from obesity.

An obese cat sitting on a wooden floor.

In the same way, the causes of obesity in cats are similar to those of obesity in humans. These are the most common causes:

  • Poor nutrition. Low-quality food may contain an excess of fats that will cause the animal to gain weight gradually and almost without you even noticing. You may not even realize there’s a problem until it turns into a big one.
  • Excessive food. As we mentioned at the beginning, cats are always hungry and, perhaps out of pity, we tend to feed them more than we should. This is a mistake that many cat owners make.
  • Processed foods. Processed foods such as canned tuna, ham, or sausages have added sugars, fats, salts, and other components that aren’t beneficial to the animal and can lead to weight gain.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. We already know that cats can spend many hours a day sleeping. What’s more, we often make the mistake of thinking that, because they don’t need to go outside like dogs do, they don’t need to exercise. Playing with them, or taking them somewhere where they can run, will keep your pet in good health.
  • Thyroid problems. Yes, cats can have thyroid problems or other diseases that lead to obesity. In these cases, you’ll need to consult with your veterinarian about the best way to feed your companion so as not to harm them further.

How to put an obese cat on a diet

As we said in the previous paragraph, if your feline doesn’t have any diseases or illnesses, there are several practical tips you can follow to put an obese cat on a diet. These are the simplest and most effective options we know:

Reduce the amount of food you offer your cat

Do you think that the fault lies in the fact that you’ve gone beyond the recommendations established by the manufacturers of the food you feed your cat? Then you need to reduce this amount urgently.

We understand that you think your cat’s hungry all day long. But the fact of the matter is, this is nothing more than its uncontrolled intrinsic instinct. Cat’s always want to have ‘prey’ available to sink their teeth into.

A cat sitting in front of an overflowing food bowl, licking its lips.

There’s a practical way to make your cat believe that it’s eating throughout the day and to take away your guilt because you think you’re not giving it enough food. You can simply spread the feedings out over several times a day. That’s to say, if your cat has to eat 6 ounces of food per day, divide it into three 2-ounce feedings. The same applies if the food is wet or you’re following a BARF diet.

Encourage your cat to exercise

Playing with your cat, looking for an enclosed patio or yard where it can run, or throwing objects in a hallway of the house, will inspire its hunting instinct and it’ll run like crazy. Another thing you can do is to adopt a second cat to play with. Both will compete in games and races and will encourage one another to be more active.

Replace your cat’s food with natural food

The BARF diet is recommended for all animals. Following this diet with an obese cat can be very effective, as you can reduce the intake of fats and proteins, and replace it with vegetables and fruits that will make your cat lose weight. This should always be done under the supervision of your veterinarian.

Mix dry food with water

If you’re not sure about a raw diet, putting water in the cat’s food will inflate the food. As a result, the animal will have a greater feeling of fullness. This will make your cat lose weight as long as you’ve reduced the amount of food you were feeding it before.

If you need to put an obese cat on a diet, rest assured that after reading this article, you’ll realize that it’s easier than you imagined.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.