Cat diets must be done safely advises head vet Patrick Murphy
December 21, 2020
Is your cat’s winter waistline a little bigger than it should be? Domestic cats don’t need a ‘winter coat’ as such, so there’s no need to give them extra food and treats over the colder months, especially if they’re doing less and sleeping more.
Being overweight is bad for your cat’s health, however, putting your cat on a diet isn’t as simple as cutting their food portions down. Head vet Patrick Murphy has this advice:
Cat dieting – what you need to know:
- It’s a good idea to get your cat’s weight checked by a vet or nurse and a Body Condition Score done, which looks at the body as a whole and gives guidelines on how much weight your cat should be carrying. A Body Condition Score (BCS) is a number assigned to a cat’s body shape ranging from 1 to 9 with 1 being very underweight, and 9 very overweight. A healthy BCS is around 5.
- Sudden changes to your cat’s diet can negatively impact their health and cause problems with their kidneys. You should take advice from your vet before reducing your cat’s food and make any changes gradually. They can check your cat’s health and advise the safest way to put your cat on a diet.
- If your cat is severely overweight, you may be advised to switch to a lower calorie food, however, this should be overseen by a vet to monitor your cat’s health before, during, and after the switch.
- You can help your cat lose weight by increasing their activity levels at home, through playing with toys and building them an activity centre – search YouTube for plenty of ideas on how to build a cat home gym.
If you have any concerns about your cat’s current weight, talk to Patrick or any of our vets and, request a cat weigh-in & body condition score. Contact Us.