By Darlene L. Norris
Feline obesity creates serious health risks for your kitty friend. Carrying extra weight around overloads all his organ systems, which can lead to pain and disability, as well as an early death. There’s nothing funny about a fat cat. And nearly half the felines in the United States are considered obese.
The most common problem associated with obesity in kitties is diabetes. If your buddy is overweight, he’s two to four times more likely to develop this serious health problem. The incidence of this disease among our furry friends has doubled since 1990. Treatment can be quite involved and very expensive, requiring a large commitment of time and money from you. Preventing this deadly disease is much easier than treating it.
Obese cats are more apt to develop skin problems, These aren’t caused by allergies, like many skin problems, but are a result of poor health. Dry skin is very common, along with feline acne. Another problem is that if your kitty is too fat to groom himself properly, he can develop large nasty sores on his bottom. These can be extremely painful for him, and can result in infections.
Your overweight buddy is also three to five times more likely to develop joint problems and arthritis. This is due to the stress his extra weight is putting on his joints, especially if he should jump down from a high place. Studies have shown that obese kitties produce abnormal cartilage, too, which can make him more prone to injuries.
If it’s too painful for him to move around much, he’ll get even less exercise. And regular exercise is necessary to keep his joints flexible. This is a vicious cycle that can be hard to break.
Besides using calories, exercise also provides the following health benefits:
* Tones his muscles
* Helps him to breath better
* Keeps his circulatory system healthy
* Moves oxygen to all cells in his body
* Helps his digestion
* Releases energy
* Keeps him from being bored and getting depressed
You can see that exercise is essential. Your kitty’s health depends on him being able to move around. None of us were meant to sit around all the time, doing nothing!
Liver problems and obesity go hand in hand. The liver is the most important organ in his body. It stores fat, so if he’s overweight, too much fat builds up in his liver, which can result in decreased liver function. And if he stops eating for 24 hours for any reason, this can develop into a life-threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. A kitty with this condition usually requires tube feeding to save his life.
Surgery can present many problems for a feline who’s too heavy. There are several reasons why it takes an overweight kitty to come out of anesthesia after surgery. These drugs are taken up by the fat in his body, and the fatter he is, the longer it takes for his body to break them down. Plus many anesthetic drugs are broken down by his liver. A fatty liver is less efficient in removing these drugs.
The quality of your furball’s life will suffer if he’s carrying too much weight around. He may be irritable because he’s hurting, or because he’s uncomfortable. If you don’t want him to face health problems and an early demise, you need to limit his food intake. Most cats are heavy simply because we’re feeding them too much!
If your buddy is not obese, take steps now to prevent it from happening. If he already is, it’s up to you to work with your vet to find a way to help your kitty lose weight. Your furry friend’s life depends on you.
Darlene L. Norris has been owned by many kitties over the years. Now I’ve combined my love for cats and my life-long interest in herbs and healing at Your Cat Care Guide Information on natural remedies for cats can be hard to find. Stay up-to-date on the latest herbal and homeopathic treatments for your feline friends!
You’re feeding your cat a low-carb, high-protein diet, and making sure he’s getting more exercise. Is there anything else you can do? Visit http://www.your-cat-care-guide.com/weight-management.html to learn about a natural remedy that’s specially formulated to help your pet lose weight naturally by stimulating his metabolism and improving his his body’s ability to eliminate fat.