We’ve all heard the term "fat cat," which usually refers to a wealthy individual who throws dollars or pounds into the wind as if they were pennies. But in reality, the increasing number of overweight animals is becoming an epidemic issue in the UK, the USA, and many other countries worldwide. Obese cats and dogs are tipping the scales in greater numbers every day, and the issue is becoming more alarming as time passes.
If you’re wondering how to prevent cat obesity, you’re not alone. According to recent statistics, obese pets are expected to outnumber healthy ones in just a few years. For example, vets in the UK report that 80% of animals they see in their daily practice are either overweight or obese. Some of these animals include cats, dogs, rabbits, and other household pets.
The real problem is that overweight indoor cats face the same health risks as humans when living with obesity. These include the possibility of developing heart problems, the early onset of diabetes, arthritis, hormonal difficulties, and many other preventable issues. These health issues are not only harmful to your cat but can also turn into recurring and expensive veterinarian bills. Fortunately, we can prevent cat obesity with increased exercise and dietary changes.
1: Take It Outside
Confining our cats indoors is a great way to keep them safe. But it doesn’t give them an opportunity to explore their predatory instincts of hunting and stalking. Unless your house has an insect or rodent problem, felines are left to another part of their basic, hereditary behaviors: being lazy and sedentary. Without taking steps to prevent cat obesity, pet owners end up with overweight indoor cats.
Think about the long tradition of hunting dogs all over Europe throughout the centuries. Even “ratters” from Norwich were bred for this type of activity and meant to have a specific assignment to keep the rodent population under control. Without this responsibility, they would have become bored and lethargic.
2: Daily Activity
Think about cats in the wild, or “big cats,” as they’re often called. These cats usually spend their time napping, lounging around, and "chilling" most of the time.
But on the other hand, they still need to hunt and capture their daily meal, which requires a great deal of activity, and exercise, and mental stimulation. While male cats do the majority of napping and mating, the females do most of the hunting and caring for the litter, but each participates in outdoor activities on a daily level. This regular activity helps prevent cat obesity.
Unless your cat practices these behavioral needs on an indoor level every day, they’ll lounge around and wait for the arrival of their next meal or may try to escape. Even if your indoor cat is not overweight, it is still not benefiting from many of the rewards that can be found outdoors, which include:
- Plenty of fresh air
- More exercise
- An increase in vitamin D from the sun
- Interacting with nature
- Promoting healthy behaviors
Letting cats outdoors unsupervised has many downsides. Many cats are injured or killed by automobiles if left to roam. Wandering pets may be lost or stolen, and cats are also vulnerable to domestic and wild animals and may be attacked. However, you can prevent cat obesity and ensure your cat enjoys the benefits of outdoor time by being proactive, creating a safe enclosure, monitoring it when it’s outside, and choosing suitable times of day for outdoor time.
Check with your veterinarian before drastically changing your pet’s exercise regime. But your vet will likely agree that spending more time outdoors, increasing activity levels, and improving the diet will help your overweight indoor cat get healthier, and ensure you enjoy your cat’s companionship for many more years.
3: Keep Your Cat Fit With Purrfect Fence
You must give your kitty outdoor access to prevent cat obesity. Going outdoors is not only beneficial for your cat’s fitness, but also helps improve its emotional wellbeing. While outdoor access is essential for pet health, it can expose your cat to other risks if you’re not careful. You must make sure your cat is safe while outside to enjoy the full benefits of outdoor environments.How can you keep your cat safe while outdoors? Purrfect Fence can help. We offer patented fence designs and enclosures to give your cat the freedom to explore the outdoors while being securely confined. Let your overweight indoor cat go outside without worrying about it escaping or getting harmed. Call us now to create a pet-safe space for your cat in your yard.