Bertha, the new resident cat at Aldershot Animal Hospital, has got to lose some weight!
She’s very overweight! And we know that obesity is one of the most common diseases of cats! It can lead to arthritis, heart disease and diabetes, to name a few. So you can see how important weight management is.
But cats have a very hard time losing weight. They are often inactive, inclined to overeat for their metabolism and unmotivated to exercise. Many of the common foods we feed them promote obesity, as does feeding free-choice high-calorie food.
So, With a Happy Meow, the Journey Begins…
We will begin by applying some new science. First, we measure some key areas of Bertha’s body to determine her body fat index and her target weight profile. Then we will begin her on a regimen of Hill's Prescription Metabolic Diet®. This new diet is formulated to help her body use up fat and build lean body condition. It’s also tasty and comes in canned, dry and treats!
Oh dear! Bertha weighs in at 9.8 kg! Her ideal body condition is 4.9 kg! Who knew?!! She’s 59.6% body fat. Time to try a new plan. If you think your cat is overweight, consult your veterinarian for a measurement and diet plan. We can even arrange to have your feeding plan emailed to you.
So far so good, Bertha likes her new regimen
Next step: boredom alert! We’ve introduced her to a room of her own, complete with ramps and hiding spots, which she has begun to explore. Once she’s settled in and one of the gang, she will be allowed to move freely in the clinic and socialize and exercise. We’ve given her a ‘full-sized’ litter, an important detail in kitties who are big and are having trouble getting around. We’ll be monitoring her mobility to make sure she’s not having any stiffness or soreness.
How Do You Get Your Cat to Exercise?
Cats like to “hunt” so make it fun! Hide food and treats in egg cartons, or under things, in paper bags, etc. There are even toys you can buy that dispense a treat when played with. When using a light beam to chase, make sure they can “catch” a treat or toy at the end of the game or they will quickly tire of the game. Or just take some time to play with them, keeping toys rotated so they are always fresh. A window to look outside is always a favourite. For all you tech types, there are actually iPad apps to entertain your cat! Outdoor access is always an option, just make sure your cat is safe, supervised, and secure. Remember that city bylaws prohibit cats at large. Whatever you choose, the reward will be a happy healthy cat.
2016 Bertha’s Blog
We look forward to rebuilding on Plains Road in 2017. We have seen great improvement over the last few years as Bertha continues to lose her excess weight. Bertha’s weight is closer to 7kg. She is more active and cheekier. She is always available for a meet and greet.
Bertha enjoys her daily hallway runs to chase treats as well as following the sunshine around the front office. She enjoys watching birds out the window and perching on shelves around the clinic.
We have found that a meal plan works best for her, as is often the case with cats on a weight loss program. The Hill’s Metabolic canned and dry were a very good fit for her. We’d like to think all cats can learn from her example – weight loss is never impossible! We can find a diet plan for your cat too, and can guide you in finding ways to encourage exercise for the feline body and brain. Like Bertha, your cat will enjoy their “new look”.