Your cat Charmaine seems to be experiencing middle-aged spread. You’ve noticed that she’s been getting a little stout, but Charmaine’s always been a big-boned cat. Yesterday, however, she launched herself at the couch and came up short, with her stomach and rear end hanging off the edge until she pulled herself up with her claws. Clearly, Charmaine is not the lean, athletic, drape-climbing cat she used to be. Looks like it’s time to ask your San Fernando Valley veterinarian for a customized diet and exercise plan to get Charmaine’s weight under control.
Cause and Effects – We’re in the middle of a feline obesity epidemic, caused by Charmaine and her feline friends eating too much for their activity levels. In fact, approximately 40 to 50 percent of pet cats are considered overweight, putting them at a higher risk for serious medical conditions. Specifically, Charmaine’s excess weight can overstress her muscles, ligaments, and joints, and can also make her more susceptible to osteoarthritis and soft-tissue injuries.
Nutrition specifics – It’s no secret that cats dine on birds and mice whenever possible. This protein-rich diet highlights cats’ instinctive drive to remain carnivores. Conversely, Charmaine simply can’t metabolize plant proteins as efficiently as meat protein sources. Also, Charmaine lacks some enzymes that help metabolize higher amounts of carbohydrates, meaning excess carbs are eventually stored as fat. Finally, Charmaine’s favorite treats are loaded with carbs and flavor enhancers that further stimulate her appetite.
Medical evaluation – Charmaine’s vet needs to evaluate her medically before he recommends any diet modifications. She’ll need a complete physical exam, including urine and blood tests, designed to rule out any physical or metabolic issues that might impact her safe weight loss.