Health risks for obese cats
Obesity poses serious health risks to cats as extra demand is placed on organs in the body and joints and bones have to cope with the additional strain. Being obese your cat is at higher risk of a long list of illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, liver disease, arthritis, digestive disorders, breathing difficulties, and high blood pressure.
Obese cats tend to be less active as all actions are strenuous and require a lot of energy. They can also be irritable, and feeling uncomfortable over a long period of time may lead to depression. Overall, their quality of life is poorer and their life span shorter than that of normal weight cats.
What causes obesity in cats?
Some cats can eat more than they need, especially when they are bored or they get little exercise. Cats only burn off the energy they use. Table scraps and treats are going to convert into fat if your have a sedentary cat whose main daily activity is walking to the food bowel.
In addition, the food they are fed is often not appropriate. Many cat foods are high in carbohydrates and low in protein. However, cats naturally have high protein requirements; more than double the amount per pound of body weight than humans. Kittens need even more.
While poor diet and too much food in relation to little exercise are the most common causes of obesity, age, illness and environmental factors can also cause cats to gain weight.
Home remedies for cats with obesity
Home remedies for cats with obesity can be very effective in supporting the body to process food efficiently. They naturally support the thyroid and the liver, maintaining a healthy digestive process and metabolism and enhance the liver’s ability to process fat.
An effective tisane (herbal tea) for obesity consists of a mixture of herbs. Lady’s mantle, wild chicory, chouchgrass and stinging nettle are a good combination. Alternatively use dandelion, fennel, rosemary and bladderwrack. Give three dropperfuls half an hour before each meal and four times during the day.
Other beneficial weigh-loss herbs include turmeric which helps to break down fats and milk thistle which is renowned for its beneficial effects of the liver, the organ responsible for metabolising fats in the body.
Bladderwrack is a sea vegetable and is a concentrated source of minerals such as iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Iodine assists in the production of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining a healthy metabolism in all body cells. Turmeric supports the flow of bile, which is responsible for the breakdown of dietary fat and milk thistle helps the liver to maintain normal functioning. It contains a flavonoid complex called silymarin, which is a powerful anti-oxidant and helps to maintain healthy liver functioning. Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, D, C, various B vitamins, iron, lecithin, silicon, potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. It supports the liver and the gall bladder.
These ingredients can be found in commercially produced home remedies for cats with obesity such as SlenderPet from PetAlive. This is a 100% herbal remedy formulated to assist your cat in maintaining a healthy body weight. It comes in capsule form and is best administered by opening the capsule and mixing the contents with wet food. Give 1/2 capsule twice daily.
To tackle obesity you need to establish a rigorous dietary and exercise regime that encourages weight loss. Your cat’s daily activity levels should guide you as to the amount of food it needs.
Do not suddenly reduce your cat’s daily rations drastically. Cut down a little each week instead. Feed smaller meals at regular intervals throughout the day rather than leaving food out all day. This will prevent eating out of boredom and ensures your cat will only eat when it is hungry.
A nutritious meal cats would love can be prepared in the following way: take one small mouse out of the freezer. Defrost. Put in a blender and hit frappé. Serve at feline body temperature on a clean plate. Sorry cats – it won’t happen as most humans will have problem with this.
Keep the diet varied and interesting. If you have fed your cat a lot of junk food, gradually replace this with titbits of raw meat, poultry and fish. You can add a little catnip. Poultry breast bones can also be given as they produce digestive enzymes and increase the metabolic rate. They must be given raw though as cooked bones become brittle, splinter easily and are dangerous to cats. Feeding natural yoghurt with small pieces of melon, cucumber, apple and berries will aid the digestive process.
Some cats are fussy eaters and turn their noses up at healthy food. Be patient and persistent. Don’t be upset if your cat looks at its new diet and walks away to start with. Eventually it will get hungry and slowly adapt to the new diet.
Encourage your cat to exercise. Regular exercise helps to build up a healthy appetite and gets all organs in the body functioning well. It also helps to relieve stress.
Some cats are naturally more active than others, but most cats can be enticed into doing some form of daily exercise such as a game of mouse-on-a-string. Ping-pong balls are also good. You may be surprised at how active your cat becomes when trying to catch something!
Along with an improved diet and regular exercise, home remedies can help your cat to naturally attain a healthy weight and enjoy a happy healthy life.