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Advice on feline weight control

Lucy is a cat available for adoption at the Las Vegas Humane Society.
Lucy is a cat available for adoption at the Las Vegas Humane Society.
Las Vegas Humane Society

The number of overweight cats is a growing statistic across the country. Dr. Trish Auge, owner of A Cat Hospital based in Las Vegas, has some advice to offer cat owners to help their cats stay slim and healthy.

Dr. Auge says pet owners are overwhelmed by pet food companies trying to convince them that their food is better, is healthier, contains less fillers, has no preservatives, and contains no grain or gluten. There are a variety of flavors and many types of treats offered with selling points of hairball, dental, urinary, or indoor cat formulas.

No one pet food company has all the answers, suggests Dr. Auge, since in the wild, cats feast on birds, mice, insects, and lizards. The problem lies with too much food and too little exercise leading to obese cats which in turn leads to serious health risks.

Among these risks are breathing problems, strain on the heart because it has to work harder to pump blood with the excess weight leading to hidden heart failure, and fatty liver disease. Overweight cats have difficulty grooming and may develop matting and skin problems, as well as joint problems that lead to pain and inactivity. This all becomes a vicious cycle.

Another serious risk for obese cats is feline diabetes. Symptoms include increase in water consumption and an increase in urination, as well as wanting to eat more. The cat’s coat can become dull and dry, and the cat can become sluggish.

Dr. Auge recommends that cat owners need to engage in more exercise with their felines just as many people take the dog for a daily walk, because cats are often so bored that their attention turns to food. A pudgy cat will look forward to a new routine of play. She suggests using a dangly toy on a pole that looks like a fishing pole, roll a ball, use a laser light, and experiment with catnip toys.

Cats that are already overweight and sedentary can be a challenge to get moving. Dr. Auge suggests creating a routine by using these toys along with a cat tree or building some wall shelves or tunnels for the cat to climb.

A Cat Hospital is located at 2758 N. Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89014 Telephone 702-454-4400

To learn more about feline diabetes and other feline illnesses in connection with cat obesity and how to prevent them, visit A Cat Hospital's website.

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Email if you have comments or a story you would like me to share. I currently write as NJ Animal Rescue Examiner, National Cats Examiner, National Pet Health Examiner, and National General Pets Examiner. Follow me on Twitter and visit us on Facebook for news and updates.

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