extremely chonky cat

Why Do Cats Get Fat?

Last Updated on January 30, 2023 by admin

One of the main reasons cats become overweight is due to consuming too many calories and not enough physical activity. This is more common among house cats, as they are less active and more likely to eat a diet high in carbohydrates. Poor-quality food and underlying health issues can also contribute to weight gain in cats. Gender can play a role as well, as female cats are more likely to become overweight. Finally, a lack of exercise and too much food can lead to obesity in cats. To avoid weight gain, it is important to gradually reduce the daily allowance of food for cats and to ensure that their diet is balanced and of good quality.


Overview of Cat Obesity

Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat, and cats are considered overweight when they are 10–20% heavier than their ideal weight. Obese cats have fat deposits over the lumbar area, face, and ribs, which may not be palpable under a heavy layer of fat. Obesity can lead to various health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Fortunately, with a good diet and exercise plan, cats can reduce their weight to a healthy level. In this article we will discuss why cats get fat and what you can do to help them maintain a healthy weight.

Reasons Why Cats Get Fat

When it comes to understanding why cats get fat, there are several potential causes. Overeating and an unbalanced diet can be major contributors, as cats have a natural inclination to snack throughout the day. The type of food they eat can also play a role, as many commercial foods are loaded with salt and fat. In addition, cats that are pregnant or nursing often gain weight due to their increased caloric needs. Some cats may even become overweight due to age or gender, as certain breeds and males tend to be more at risk for obesity. Finally, certain health conditions can cause weight gain in cats, including hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease.

The Role of Diet

The role of diet is an important factor in why cats get fat. A diet that is high in fat and low in protein can cause cats to become overweight. Cats need a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to maintain a healthy weight. In particular, they need omega–6 and omega–3 fatty acids, which they cannot produce on their own. Carbohydrates provide cats with energy, but if they are more active, they may require more carbohydrates to meet their energy needs. Cats that consume more calories than they use will become overweight, as the excess calories are stored in the body as fat. Dry foods and diets with higher carbohydrate content are also more likely to contribute to weight gain.

Exercise and Activity

Exercise is key to keeping cats at a healthy weight, just like it is for humans. While cats may seem content to lounge around all day, they are actually very active creatures that need physical activity to stay healthy. In order to increase your cat’s activity level, you can introduce interactive toys and play with your cat regularly. This will keep your cat engaged and help it burn calories while having fun. You can also consider setting up an outdoor enclosure with trees, platforms, and other toys to encourage your cat to explore and climb. Regular walks on a leash are also a great way to get your cat moving.

Age and Gender Considerations

When it comes to age and gender, there are several factors that can lead to weight gain in cats. Elderly cats often have health issues that accompany their old age and some – some of which we’ve noted above – can lead to an increased appetite and weight gain. Female cats are more likely to become overweight and mixed breed cats are also more likely to gain too much weight. Male cats tend to reach higher weight peaks than females. Cats with age over 5 years and over 7 years showed a higher risk to be overweight (83% and 59%, respectively) than younger cats. It’s been shown that cats are more likely to become overweight after spaying or neutering. To ensure your cat stays at a healthy weight, understanding the various factors that can lead to weight gain is key.

Health Problems That Cause Weight Gain

In addition to lifestyle and dietary factors, there are also certain medical conditions that can cause cats to gain weight. Hypothyroidism, for example, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This is more common in dogs, although it can also affect cats and can lead to weight gain. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Cats with this condition often lose weight despite eating well. Other medical conditions that can cause weight gain include diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. It’s important to take your cat to the vet regularly and get medical tests done to rule out any underlying health issues that could be contributing to their weight gain.

Free Choice Eating Habits

Free choice eating habits are also a factor when it comes to why cats get fat. Cats instinctively eat many small meals throughout the day, so they easily adapt to a free choice feeding schedule. However, some cats may be prone to snacking and overconsumption when they can access food at all times. This can result in excessive calorie intake and subsequent weight gain. While it is possible for some cats to regulate their own eating habits, others may require more specific feeding schedules and portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight.

Gradual Approach to Reducing Calories

It is important to remember that cats should not be put on a crash diet, as this can be detrimental to their health. A gradual approach to reducing calories is recommended for cats, as it helps them adjust to the reduced caloric intake and leads to weight loss without sacrificing health. Low-calorie wet food is a great way to reduce calorie intake while still providing adequate nutrition. Additionally, cats should be encouraged to be more active and burn more calories. This can be done by providing toys, scratching posts, and other items that will get your kitty moving. In addition, supervised playtime with owners or other cats is an excellent way to increase activity and help your cat lose weight. With these methods combined, you can help your cat reach a healthy weight in a safe and effective way.

Ways to Keep Your Cat at a Healthy Weight

It’s important to take your cat’s weight seriously, as even a few extra pounds can increase their risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health issues. To keep your cat at a healthy weight or help them lose weight if they are already overweight, it’s important to consider diet, exercise and activity, age and gender, and any potential health problems causing the weight gain. The good news is that there are a few ways to help keep your cat’s weight in check.

When it comes to nutrition, it is recommended that cats be fed only canned food. This type of food is highly digestible and contains the right balance of nutrients for cats. Additionally, older cats that are having trouble keeping on weight may benefit from a food with increased levels of antioxidants, omega–3 and –6 fatty acids, and other nutrients. A vet can help you determine the right food, portions, and feeding schedule for your cat. Additionally, if your cat is overweight due to eating too much, you may need to reduce the amount they eat. This should be done gradually as sudden changes in their diet can lead to digestive upset.

Exercise is also an important part of helping your cat maintain a healthy weight. While cats don’t need to go for walks like dogs do, providing them with toys and encouraging activity can help burn calories and fat while improving their energy levels. If you have an indoor cat, make sure they have plenty of things to do like scratching posts, climbing trees or shelves, boxes or paper bags to hide in, and interactive toys.

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Cat

With the help of your veterinarian, you can take steps to ensure your cat has a healthy lifestyle without ever having to worry about weight gain. As mentioned before, monitoring your cat’s diet is key, as well as providing them with enough exercise and activity throughout the day. Regular visits to the vet for body condition assessments and weight checks are also important for keeping your cat at a healthy weight. Additionally, feeding them good quality kitten food can be beneficial for cats that are struggling to maintain their weight. Finally, if you want to prevent or reverse obesity in your cat, a gradual approach to reducing calories can be helpful. With these tips, you and your cat can enjoy a long and healthy life together.