Help your cat successfully achieve and maintain a healthier, more ideal weight and body condition with these tips from your veterinarian.
1. Get everybody on board.
Helping your cat lose weight is a process that takes time and dedication from every member of your family. If someone’s sneaking treats on the side or everyone’s not fully committed to the process, the chances of success are slim. Make sure you rally the troops before starting her weight loss plan.
2. Factor in the food.
Your veterinarian may make suggestions to help your cat lose weight that may include feeding less, changing the way you feed (switching to meals versus free feeding) or even changing your cat’s diet altogether. If you decide to change your pet’s diet, a good rule of thumb is to place the new food side-by-side with the current food at feeding time, gradually removing more and more of the old food as the new food is eaten.
3. Let’s get physical.
Your veterinarian may also suggest ways to incorporate more activity and enrichment into your cat’s lifestyle, particularly if your cat is indoor-only. These may include activities that simulate your cat’s normal instinct to hunt and stalk, such as playing with moving toys or laser pointers, or making meals a fun challenge by placing your cat’s food at the top of a climbing tree, or putting it in a food puzzle. These small changes in your daily routine will help your cat get back to and stay at a healthy weight, and they’re also an excellent opportunity to bond with her and form lifelong habits you and your cat can enjoy for years to come.
4. Stay positive—and be patient.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, there will be challenges during this process, and it’s important to stay focused on your cat’s weight loss goals and reach out for assistance if needed. Regularly scheduled check-in calls and weigh-ins with your veterinary team will help ensure you’re staying on track—or help you get back on track—with your goals. And remember—this process takes time. Work with your veterinarian to establish feasible goals (ex, losing 10 percent of current weight over 6 months is a safe, achievable and healthy goal) and celebrate each milestone as you reach it.