Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on November 12, 2012

Question

I think my question may be a common one, so I would like your input on it. I have a normal, healthy 3-year-old male (neutered) orange tabby cat who is overweight. He is outside about three hours a day. For the past year I have been feeding him nothing but dry diet food -- different brands -- 3/4 cup per day, which is less than the manufacturer recommends. During this time, he has not lost one ounce!

He stays at 20 pounds every time I weigh him. I know he is not eating any birds or mice, and he never leaves the backyard, so I know no one else is feeding him. He is hungry all the time. Should I be concerned about his weight issue? Is it indicating a potential medical problem, or is he just a big cat? Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated.

B.F., Medford, OR Nov 12, 2012

Answer

I am glad you are concerned, because there is a virtual epidemic of obesity in cats and dogs as well as people today, with health complications shared by all three species. These complications include diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart and circulatory problems, arthritis, cognitive impairment -- the list goes on.

Please make every effort to transition your cat onto a grain- and soy-free cat food -- canned, dry or raw. For more details, visit feline-nutrition.org. Many cats on high-fiber, weight-reducing diets suffer from constant hunger and malnutrition. Feed your cat 4 to 6 teaspoon-size meals daily.

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