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November 16, 2018 |5 min read |Veterinarian Reviewed

Be Conscious of Your Cat's Weight!

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While you, as a cat owner, may think it's adorable to have a chubby cat, but the truth is, if you aren't conscious of your cat's weight, you could be causing him irreparable health damage. The concept of a "fat cat" has been in our popular consciousness since the glory days of Garfield, but that doesn't mean that a cartoon is a reality. Let's take a look at some of the many ways that not being conscious of your cat's weight can be detrimental to his health.

Not Being Conscious of Your Cat's Weight Will Give Him A Shorter Life

Just as being overweight is not a health-wise decision for humans, being overweight is not healthy for cats, either. In fact, if you fail to be conscious of your cat's weight, you could be sentencing him to an early grave! A cat with too much meat on his bones will suffer undue pressure on his joints, tendons, and ligaments. In addition, overweight cats often suffer from heart disease, as the heart has to work harder to pump blood to all the parts of the ever-increasing body.


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Not Being Conscious of Your Cat's Weight Can Give Him A Fatty Liver

vet holding fat

Hepatic lipidosis, also known as "fatty liver disease," which often comes as a result of pancreatitis and diabetes. The prevalence of these diseases is directly correlated to the prevalence of obesity, both in cats and, interestingly, in humans.

When there's too much fat in the liver, the liver will malfunction. This will cause the cat to not eat for a few days, resulting in even more fat being deposited in the liver, and causing an increase in liver dysfunction.

Over time, the liver's function will continue to deteriorate until the cat, ultimately, dies as a result.

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Not Being Conscious of Your Cat's Weight Can Give Him Diabetes

As was previously mentioned, overweight humans and cats both suffer from diabetes as a result of their obesity. Diabetes is a disease where the pancreas doesn't secrete insulin properly, thus making it difficult to break down complex carbohydrates and sugars. This results in the carbohydrates and sugars being stored in the cat's body as fat, and the fat will continue to increase as he eats more carbohydrate-rich food.

Be Conscious of Your Cat's Weight -- Tips and Tricks!

cat on treadmill

Fortunately for cat lovers all over the world, being conscious of your cat's weight is a relatively easy process, and one that will benefit both you and him in the long run.

  • DO get your cat a high-protein food. Ideally, the food should be made up of 35% to 45% protein by weight. Avoid foods that have a high corn and other grain content.
  • DON'T give your cat any treats. Treats are high in starches and "empty nutrients," and much like human "junk food," cat treats are sneaky weight killers.
  • DON'T put your cat on a "crash diet." Starving the cat, or significantly cutting down his food without the discrete observation of his veterinarian. This will only lead to more problems in the long-term...including the cat putting on even more weight than he had before.
  • DO get your cat off the couch and on the floor for some play time and exercise. Start out light -- only about 10 minutes a day -- and gradually increase the time and intensity of the workout.
Want to keep your furry pet’s weight healthy? Check out our blog on “how to keep a healthy cat weight” here. What are some of your tips and tricks to be conscious of your cat's weight? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


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Christina Scamporrino is a lifelong animal lover and began working in the petcare space in 2019. Christina’s passion for the community of feline owners and enthusiasts have led her to designing premium packaging for PrettyLitter cat litter, PrettyPlease dry food, wet food, and treats, and a litter box designed to solve common litter box issues.

Outside of her professional work in the petcare space, Christina is a longtime kitten foster and has worked with several cat rescues throughout Southern California. When given the option, she favors orange cats, but loves all cats equally.


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Sara Ochoa

Sara Ochoa, DVM graduated from St. George's University Veterinary School in 2015. Since then, she has been at a small and exotic animal practice in Texas. In her free time, she loves making quilts and spending time with her husband Greg and their 4 fur kids. Two dogs, Ruby a schnoodle, and Bug a Japanese Chin, one cat named OJ and a leopard tortoise named Monkey.

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