By Robert Preidt
SUNDAY, Feb. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Has your favorite tabby gotten a tad tubby?
You can help that fat cat slim down safely. But be forewarned: It won’t happen overnight.
Researchers at the University of Illinois put eight overweight neutered male cats on a diet for 18 weeks. They wanted the cats to lose enough weight to be noticeable but not enough to put their health at risk.
“The intent with this diet was a healthy weight loss: getting rid of fat while maintaining lean mass. The big question was how much does it take to make cats lose weight, especially lazy neutered males?” said Kelly Swanson, a professor in the department of animal sciences.
“It turns out you have to keep reducing their food intake because they’re not very active. It takes a long time,” he said in a university news release.
The goal was to help the cats shed 1.5 percent of their body weight per week. That’s in line with recommendations from the American Animal Hospital Association.
Faster weight loss risks liver trouble. “They can’t handle that much,” Swanson said.
“Their activity level didn’t change much,” Swanson said. “Toward the end, they were becoming a little more active, but not statistically.”
Even so, he said owners should encourage their cats to get as much exercise as possible by playing with them and placing food bowls farther from their favorite resting spots.
The study was published in the February issue of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.
COMMENTS FROM LOVINMYPUP.COM:
This is an article that addresses the problem of feline obesity which is a common problem today. This takes a very matter of fact problem and gives it format for resolution. And it is a format that I have used with Bella . Working with her Vet, we came up with the calorie level she needed based on her activity level. We followed the outline and she lost the 10 pounds slowly and safely over an 8 month time span. The concept is the same for all fur babies. If you have a fur baby that is over weight it will behove you to follow the suggestions in this article.
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