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How to get cat to lose weight?

Species: Cat
Breed: domestic shorthair.
Age: 5-8 years
Cinder is about 16-18 lbs. She has a large frame for a Female, per the vet, but my question is how do we get her down to a healthy weight. We have been feeding science diet canned food (history of stones that were surgically removed) so she gets more fluid and at the calorie level she should get. On the weekend they get dry food that they love, same brand. We recently moved into a place with stairs and have a big cat tower. Any suggestions?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. This is definitely a tough problem that a lot of people face! I see so many cats who are overweight.

Your problem is made even more difficult by the fact that Cinder is on a special type of food for urinary issues. I usually have had relatively good success with putting overweight cats on a special food such as Royal Canin Calorie Control. You may want to ask your vet if this food would be ok considering Cinder's previous urinary issues.

Ultimately weight loss in cats is the same as in people...you've got to burn more calories than you eat. So here are a few tips:

-Make sure you are measuring out how much food she gets and not "eyeballing" it.
-Try cutting down her food by 10%. If she is not acting extremely hungry then after a week or so cut it down even more.
-Avoid treats of any kind. If you need to use treats then use her own food as treats and give her that much less food during meal time.
-Try placing her food in several dishes all around the house so she has to move around to get it. This works even better if you have stairs she needs to go up and down.
-You can try using a feeding ball or other such treat toys such as a tricky treat ball, but not all cats use this.
-Encourage exercise by using something like a cat dancer toy or laser pointer. Every bit of exercise helps.

And remember it is a slow process to get a cat to lose weight. If she can drop a pound in a year this is good.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.