Obesity causes in felines may be various starting from genetics to lack of exercise and an inadequate diet. You must be aware of the possible causes and try to prevent obesity in your pet, as this is associated with many health problems.
Just like in humans, certain cats are prone to being overweight. This is due to the genetic information inherited from the parents.
Certain medical conditions will cause obesity in your pet:
- Hormonal imbalance, which can affect the metabolism and may lead to weight gain
- A heart condition, which will not allow the pet to exercise and he can easily gain weight, due to inactivity
- Arthritis, which will also make certain movements painful and the cat will refrain from moving
Older pets may also be more prone to obesity, as the cat will be less active and will sleep more. If he eats the same food, he will most likely gain weight.
An inadequate diet can lead to weight gain. The cat may eat more than he needs and all the excess energy will turn into fat.
Many owners tend to over feed their cats. The cat should have a diet that is adjusted to his size, breed and age. You should work closely with your vet to find the amount of energy your pet needs for his daily activities and administer the exact same amount.
You should also make sure that the cat eats quality food that contains fewer fillers, which can contribute to obesity.
Lack of Exercise
The lack of exercise can contribute to weight gain. A sedentary cat is very likely to become obese. This is due to the fact that he consumes more food than he needs and all the remaining energy will be deposited. A cat can easily become obese if he fails to exercise.
The amount of exercise required by a cat will depend on his breed and age, but he will need to play or consume his extra energy each day. On average, cats need around 15 to 30 minutes of exercise per day. Exercise may not be recommended if the pet has arthritis or a heart condition. In this case, the diet has to be adjusted so that the pet eats only as much as he needs.
Dangers of Obesity
Obesity can present certain health dangers, so you need to prevent obesity in your cat.
Obesity is linked to these health problems:
- Heart problems, as the heart has to work extra to pump blood to the fat tissues as well
- Early onset of arthritis
- Diabetes, which can occur if the cat can no longer assimilate the blood sugar properly
Obese cats will have a lower life expectancy.
Consult your vet if you suspect your pet may be overweight. The vet can establish if your cat has a normal weight and make certain diet and exercise recommendations.