Cats are known to be independent and adventurous, but as they grow older, perpetual naps and free-feeding can often lead to obesity in your feline friend. Over-feeding and under-playing can lead to a plump appearance, difficulty jumping, and may even cause or complicate other health problems. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your cat's weight.
1. Cut Some Calories
Just like humans, cats need a New Year's Resolution to cut some pounds. If you've been following the feeding instructions on your cat food and your cat is still plump, talk with your vet about recommended food per day. Your cat may have a slow metabolism and require less than the bag suggests.
2. Add Some Active Play
You want to add some high-energy activities with your cat to get them to burn some of those extra calories. A laser pointer is great for getting your cat to run laps. If they're not into the laser pointer, you can try the good ol' toy-on-a-stick method. If your cat is quirky, you might be able to get them to play hide and seek with your around the house. That will get you exercising, too!
3. Make Them Work To Eat
If your cat is crying between their reduced-calorie meals, you can feed them in a kibble ball or treat dispenser instead. They'll have fun getting their food, and you can even slip in a few treats (moderation is key!) to keep the game fun and interesting. You don't have to feed their entire meal in a kibble ball, either. Even just a portion of their meal in a treat ball should keep them active for a while.
4. Get Outside
Your cats may be "indoor only" but that doesn't mean they can't go outside with supervision! Grab your favorite cat leash or catio and bring your cat outside for an adventure. Even if it's not a high-calorie activity, they will be engaged, happy, and mentally stimulated while bird- and bug-watching.
5. Go To Your Vet
If nothing seems to be working, and you're worried about your cat's weight and potential health complications, take a trip to the vet. Your vet may be able to recommend a combination of changes in food, exercise, and perhaps even physical therapy, to get your cat near to a desired weight and body shape. There may be underlying health problems causing the excess weight, and your vet can explore those options with you.