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Garfield is one of the most famous cartoon cats that has ever scratched a couch or jumped on their owner’s head in the wee hours of the morning looking for food. The big orange kitty is lasagna-loving and diet-hating and everyone knows just how snarky and depressed he can get when weight loss is involved. If you’ve ever seen the Garfield Thanksgiving Special, you know what happened when he was put on a diet for the holiday. Since he could not eat what he wanted, he tried to sabotage the dinner so that no one else could eat! Your cat will probably not go that far if you try to cut back on his intake, so if he has a few extra pounds that he needs to lose, it’s best to do what you can to get him into healthier shape.
Overindulgence Equals Overweight
Garfield’s veterinarian had a good point when she decided that he needed to lose a few pounds. Though fat cats are cute and seem like big old teddy bears, being overweight is not good for the health of your cat. Statistics say that too many cats in the U.S. are overweight and this is mainly due to owner overindulgence. The fact that your cat has a few extra pounds on his frame is probably due to the love we give him; or rather, the treats that we give to show our love.
There is nothing wrong with giving treats to your cat. Treats can be used to train your cat in different ways or as a treat that makes them happy. Treats should be given out sparingly and even then you should try to find treats that are made from lean meat as opposed to fillers. When it comes to people food, there are many things that can cause digestive issues – or worse – in your cat so be sure to limit those to things that they can tolerate and again, only in limited portions.
Tips For Slimming Down
There are several things that you can do to slim your cat down, or keep your cat’s weight in check. Talk to your doctor to make sure that there isn’t an underlying problem with your cat’s health that could be causing the weight gain. If not, you can work together to find a “diet” that works best for your cat. Some of the things that you can try at home include:
- Stop free-feeding. Measure out the amount of food that your cat gets each day to comply with his needs based on size and activity levels. Think about the calories he needs and try to stick to a schedule.
- Water him down. Have plenty of fresh water available at all times to keep your cat hydrated.
- No dogs allowed. We mean dog food. Cats can gain weight if they indulge in dog food; there is a difference in ingredients and how a cat processes them. Feed Fido in a place where Fluffy won’t get to his dinner.
- Keep her moving. Try to get your cat some exercise every day. Get her a multi-level cat tree or cat tower so she can climb to her heart’s content. Have toys available for her to play with throughout the day. Spend 15 minutes in the evening getting her to chase feathers, a laser pointer, whatever will make her move.
The Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats
Many of the dry kibble cat foods on the market today are full of carbohydrates, like corn meal, soy, and wheat, which are there for a few reasons. Not only do they keep the dry kibble from falling apart, but they act as fillers so that your cat feels fuller for longer. Cat kibble is also full of preservatives that keep it tasting fresh for longer. A cat’s bodies cannot handle a high carb intake or a lot of preservatives and it leads to weight gain and sometimes, diabetes.
The best cat food for overweight cats include food that is high in protein with a little fat. Carbs should be limited to those with fiber, such as barley or brown rice. One of the best sources of fiber that some of the higher end brands add to their kibble is ground flaxseed. Flax is one of the oldest fiber crops in the world and it is not only a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber, but research shows that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Some of the brands that include flaxseed are:
- By Nature Adult Dry
- Nutro Ultra Indoor Adult Cat
- Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken
- Blue Wilderness Adult Chicken
- Wellness Complete Health Chicken Recipe
There are several brands on the market that cater specifically to overweight cats, but be sure that you are picking the brands that have high quality ingredients. They include plenty of real meat which is sufficient fuel for your carnivore cat and will lead to better health and a slimmer frame. Consider the following foods that are high-quality and full of protein to keep your cat healthy:
- Artemis Fresh Mix Weight Management and Senior Dry Cat Food
- Eukanuba Weight Control and Hairball Relief
- Innova Weight Management
- Merrick Purrfect Bistro Healthy Weight
- Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Ultra-Light
Remember, just because it’s cat food for overweight cats doesn’t mean that you should go back to free-feeding. They’ll just eat even more of it! Instead, be sure to limit the caloric intake to the proper amount each day to keep your cat on the path to staying slim and living to tell the tail.
Garfield is a registered trademark of Paws Inc.