You walk in the door and your cat is running circles around you. You give chase, but they’re too quick. You call out for them to stop, but they don’t listen. You try to grab them, but they’re too quick. Finally, in exasperation, you throw a shoe at them, and to your surprise, it sticks. You yell out “cat nap,” and all hell breaks loose as your cat goes on a five-minute nap, while you find yourself trying to figure out what to cook for dinner as soon as the dog finishes its poop patrol.
Sound ridiculous? It probably is, but it’s a scene that’s played out in a thousand different homes across America every day. Your cat is having a breakdown due to the stress of being a housecat, and you’re the person responsible for fixing it. Why does your cat lose weight?
It’s Not Just About Food
The reasons your cat may be losing weight are numerous and complex, but they don’t all have to do with nutrition. Let’s start from the beginning.
Your cat’s teeth are an important part of their diet. The more you feed them, the more they will eat. This can lead to serious tooth issues if the teeth aren’t cared for. One major cause of dental issues is plaque. Plaque is a thin layer of gunk that builds up on the surface of your cat’s teeth over time. They don’t brush their teeth regularly, which leaves them more prone to tooth decay.
Beyond the food and dental implications, there are also implications for cat health, fitness, and well-being. A sedentary lifestyle can cause a variety of issues, from joint pain and stiffness to potentially causing them to lose weight due to poor nutrition. Additionally, as they get older, some cats may also start to lose their natural fur, which can make them appear and feel paler. Lastly, certain illnesses may cause your cat to lose weight, such as diabetes or cancer.
So, while it’s important to provide your cat with a healthy diet and plenty of hydration, it may also be beneficial to monitor their weight and ensure they’re getting enough activity and exercise.
Obesity And Overweight
Did you know that being overweight is one of the leading causes of death in cats? It’s true, and it’s even more tragic when you consider that just about every other part of their lives, they are typically quite healthy and active.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, around 12.4 million cats are currently obese in America. That’s 80% of the country’s feline population. Unfortunately, it’s not a problem that’s limited to America. Across the pond, almost 22 million cats are considered overweight. That’s 74% of the UK’s feline population. It’s a similar story in Australia, where around 16 million cats are classified as overweight or obese. That’s 73% of the country’s feline population. This number is staggering, and it highlights an important point: being overweight is not only a health issue, but it’s also a behavioral issue.
Being obese is an issue because it affects your cat’s mood and activity level. It also makes them more prone to certain illnesses. For instance, being obese can make them more susceptible to kidney and liver disease. It also puts them at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, it may make them more likely to become sick or injured, as they’re less able to move around quickly or properly on their own. Finally, being overweight is a source of stress for your cat. It can make them agitated and unhappy, which of course would affect your relationship with them as well.
If you’re concerned about your cat’s weight, it’s important to approach the issue with care and responsibility. You don’t want to just rush in and fix something that may be more complicated than it seems. It would be best to meet with a professional to get advice and help figure out how you can work together to improve your cat’s quality of life.
Age And Activity Level
Age is another important factor to consider when talking about your cat’s weight. Just like humans, older cats are typically heavier than they were as kittens. It’s a natural phenomenon that mostly has to do with their individual metabolism rates slowing down as they get older. This is the primary reason why most cats gain weight as they get older, even if they were skinny as a kitten. It’s also why it can be so hard to get them to eat healthy food as they get older. They just don’t have the appetite anymore.
Just like with humans, as cats get older, they also become less active. It’s a combination of decreased interest and energy. While it’s great to see your cat enjoying themselves as they age, it’s also something you have to take into consideration. It may be beneficial to encourage your cat to be more active as they get older. This can be anything from taking them on walks to playing with them for a few minutes a day. With more activity, they may gain back some of the weight they’ve lost and may even put on a little bit of fat. You never know how much energy your cat has left in them, so it’s always worth a try. Even if it’s just putting them in a carrier and taking them for a walk, it’s better than nothing.
Nutrition And Hydration
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight for your cat. Not only is obesity an issue, but it can also be a significant source of water intoxication. Just like humans, cats need lots of water to stay hydrated, and too much water can cause them to gain weight. This is why it’s important to make sure they always have access to fresh, clean water. Did you know that some cats drink more than their body weight in water every day? This is certainly the case. It’s estimated that a 15-pound cat may drink up to three gallons of water every day. Yes, three gallons! Just imagine the size of their bladder after all those drinks. It would literally be a struggle to keep up with them as they emptied their bladder all night long. It’s also important to understand how much food your cat needs to maintain healthy weight. Most cats require around 16 to 20 pounds of food per week to stay at a healthy weight. It’s important to keep this in mind when talking to your vet about potential diet changes. You don’t want to drastically cut back on their food just to lose a few pounds, as they may become malnourished and sickly. A little bit of weight loss is a good thing, but you have to be aware of how you’re going about it and why.
Brushing Their Teeth And Interacting With Them
Did you know that interacting with your cat is more effective than just about any other method of losing weight? It’s true! Studies have shown that simply brushing their teeth and making eye contact with them can greatly increase their appetite. It’s one of the most effective strategies for getting cats to eat healthier food. The sight and smell of food can be very compelling, and it seems that being in the presence of food affects our ability to reason and make good decisions. This is why most experts suggest that you should always have food available when interacting with your cat. If you want to encourage them to eat healthier foods, it’s a great place to start. Just make sure that you’re careful not to make the food too appealing. It should be easy for them to refuse when you ask them to eat something healthy.
It’s also important to note that it takes a lot of patience to get cats to eat healthy food. They typically don’t enjoy it as much as they do their regular meals. It takes time to figure out what food they prefer and how much they will eat. This is why it’s usually best to just give them what you know they will eat. The less resistance they have to eating a new food, the more likely they are to try it. This can also be a good strategy for getting them to take pills or drink alcohol. Slowly wean them off of their current diet and medication, while also offering them new and healthier alternatives.
Tooth Care And Regular Checkups
Did you know that your cat’s teeth are an important source of nutrition and that they affect both their health and weight? It’s true! Properly caring for their teeth will help keep them healthy and strong and will also help your cat maintain a healthy weight. It’s important to work with your vet to determine the best way to care for your cat’s teeth. There are different methods, some more effective than others. Cleaning their teeth with a mouthwash that contains fluoride is one effective way of protecting their teeth. Toothpaste with fluoride is also beneficial and helps strengthen teeth while also polishing it.