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Fat Cats: Tackling Feline Obesity for a Healthier, Happier Cat

It’s safe to say that many of us think fat cats are adorable! However, the wide range of medical problems that can come from feline obesity are, sadly, not adorable. Roughly 60% of cats in the United States suffer from feline obesity. Obesity shortens the lifespan of our beloved pets! Learn how to obesity impacts your cat and how to keep them happy and healthy!

Fat cat on a couch

It’s safe to say that many of us think fat cats are adorable! However, the wide range of medical problems that can come from feline obesity are, sadly, not adorable. Roughly 60% of cats in the United States suffer from feline obesity. Obesity shortens the lifespan of our beloved pets! Remember, putting weight on is usually much easier than losing it! We all want our feline friends to be in the best health possible, and it starts with a healthy weight! 

At Home Weight Management For Your Cat

Health Risk for Overweight Cats

Diabetes

While the exact cause of this is unknown, overweight cats are more prone to developing diabetes than cats of a healthy weight. Diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent diabetes) occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin in the body, resulting in high blood sugar. Cats with diabetes typically require insulin injections twice daily and often require a specially regulated diet. Diabetes is most often a lifelong condition that requires constant monitoring and care. 

Hepatic lipidosis

Hepatic lipidosis is also known as fatty liver disease and is unique to cats. This condition affects overweight cats that stop eating for a few days. After not eating for 3-4 days, the fat in the body begins to break down to supply nutrients. This can overwhelm the liver and cause the fat to store in and around the liver, causing further damage to the liver. When the liver becomes damaged, the cat becomes icteric with visible yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Without immediate and aggressive treatment, this condition is fatal. 

Urinary tract infections

Overweight cats, especially females, are more likely to get urinary tract infections! Overweight cats often have difficulty grooming themselves, especially towards the back end. When they can’t groom themselves appropriately, dirt and fecal matter can make its way towards the vulva, up into the urethra, and then up to the bladder, which can cause urinary tract infections. If the urinary tract infections go untreated, crystals in the urine can group together and form larger crystals and even bladder stones! Urinary problems are very uncomfortable for our feline friends! If your cat cannot groom themselves, be sure to keep their back end clean! Sanitary clips are a great option to keep the area free of hair that fecal matter could get stuck in! 

Skin infections

Skin infections are another problem when cats cannot groom themselves properly! A lack of grooming can result in fur matting, even in short-haired cats! The areas where the matting occurs can trap moisture and bacteria, making the perfect environment for an infection to begin! It’s best to get your cat used to regular brushing, especially around their back end, where they might not be able to reach! This will help prevent matting until they can lose a little weight! 

Arthritis

Arthritis is another common health problem among overweight cats! Excess weight adds extra pressure onto the joints, making it much harder for cats to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle! Once arthritis sets in, their joints will not return to their normal state, even after losing weight. We all want our cats to live happy and healthy lives! If they have joint pain and discomfort, they are much less likely to do the things they love, such as running around like lunatics at night (we all know they do it on purpose when we’re trying to sleep) and playing with their favorite toys!