Having an overweight cat may appear cute at first glance, but it can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions for your feline friend.
When my cat weighed in at 16 pounds, I realized it was time to take action and to learn how to get a 16-pound cat (overweight cat) to lose weight.
Understanding how to help your cat lose weight is not only a way to improve the overall quality of its life, but it is also a way for you to gain and maintain peace of mind of your own.
How to Get a 16 Pound Cat to Lose Weight
Getting a 16-pound cat to lose weight is possible by first assessing the potential triggers and contributing factors. Changing your cat’s diet, increasing the amount of exercise they receive, and even speaking with your cat’s veterinarian can help to get your cat’s weight on track.
How to Calculate How Much My Cat Should Eat
On average, an indoor feline should consume about 20 calories per pound of weight they have on them in order to maintain their current weight. For outdoor and/or extremely active cats, 35 calories per pound of weight is optimal.
You can determine the caloric intake of your cat based on the amount of food you provide for them throughout the day. Do you free feed your cat, or do you provide meals in between set intervals?
How do you measure the food amount you give to your cat each day? Does the type of food you give to your cat provide nutritional information as well as caloric details on its packaging?
Whenever you are thinking of changing and/or improving the diet and eating habits of your cat, it is best to have a baseline to know where you are starting from, especially when it comes to the food you are using.
It’s also crucial to check whether you provide your cat with treats. If so, consider how often you are giving your cat treats.
How many treats do you feed your feline friend in a given session? How many calories are in each individual treat you give to your cat?
Are there alternative treat options that are healthier and still appealing to your cat on the market?
How to Find the Right Food for My Overweight Cat
With the thousands of food options available for felines of all ages on the market today, it can feel overwhelming to choose just one.
If you are unsure of the type of food you should give to your cat with the hopes of them losing weight, it is always advisable to speak directly to your cat’s veterinarian.
When researching foods for overweight cats, it is important to consider the following factors:
Allergies and sensitivities
Does your cat have any allergies or food sensitivities that you are aware of?
Are there specific ingredients that you need to avoid to prevent insulin-resistant weight gain?
What type of ingredients are important to you within your own diet?
If you prefer steering clear of foods with starches and chemicals, it may be best to do the same for your kitty.
Seek out foods that are higher in both fiber and protein to help your cat feel fuller longer, contributing to his or her weight loss.
Measure always the food given to your cat precisely to avoid overfeeding him.
Type of Exercises to Show My Cat
Many cat toys on the market are designed for playful and energetic cats. Invest in a package of toy mice and string toys for simple, yet affordable play with your cat that does not require batteries or electricity.
There are thousands of electric cat toys designed to keep them busy and active — ranging from classic mouse-chasing toys to automated dancing laser beam toys.
Invest in a tunnel set that intrigues your cat, yet keeps them actively engaged with their environment, even if they are living indoors in a smaller home or apartment.
Help your cat get into the habit of playing and getting active by engaging with them daily.
Incorporate playtime into your own schedule to normalize movement and activity, especially among lethargic and/or more sedentary cats.
The more frequently you engage with your cats and play with them, the more likely they are to consider playtime a normal part of their days.
How to Encourage My Cat to Exercise
Similar to humans and most other creatures on planet Earth, getting adequate exercise will help your cat to lose weight.
Use play toys, string mice, and even battery-operated toys to incentivize your cat to get up and to get moving.
If your cat is elderly, overweight, or even simply sedentary, you may need to develop his exercising habits over time.
Encourage your cat to get excited and to remain active while playing by jumping, making positive reinforcing sounds, and rewarding your cat with attention each time they participate.
How to Help Expedite My Cat’s Weight Loss Journey
If your cat is having difficulties losing weight, even after your adjustments and scaling back on food intake, speak directly with your veterinarian.
Your cat’s veterinarian may test him for potential metabolic diseases and/or syndromes such as diabetes or a thyroid disorder.
Your veterinarian can also prescribe medications that are useful for losing weight or various foods that are designed with weight loss in sedentary cats in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Get a 16 Pound Cat to Lose Weight
How do I know if a brand of cat food is right for my cat?
You will notice that your cat enjoys her food and is also losing weight. If you are feeding your cat a healthier brand of food, you may also notice improvements in your cat’s behavior as well as in the overall condition of their fur.
How will I know the best food type for my cat to lose weight?
Always research and compare cat food brands as well as the overall quality of specific foods you intend to feed to your own animals. Do not purchase off-brand foods that are not reputable or that have poor reviews. Always seek out pure and fresh ingredients if possible.
Whenever you are unsure of what type of food, medication, or solution you should give to your cat, speak directly to your veterinarian.
In most cases, veterinarians have multiple food recommendations that can help you and your kitty on their weight-loss journey.