Cats were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago. Since then, these beasts have been blessing households around the world with their quirky personalities, undying companionship, and total sass. A census taken in the U.S. revealed that 40% of households have at least one cat. With the increasing number of pet-friendly rentals across the country, that number is quickly growing. Many of these rentals are planted in busy cities where we prefer to keep our furry felines indoors to protect them from the dangers of urban life.
While keeping kitty indoors is probably for the best, it does come with a few concerns. One of the biggest issues is feline obesity. Veterinarians report that feline obesity is the number one nutritional disorder among domestic cats. Though fat cats are often the butt of jokes in memes, cartoons, and on social media, cat owners need to take it very seriously.
According to statistics published by The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, feline obesity is generally defined as a cat’s body weight being 20% or more above a healthy weight. A healthy weight varies based on a cat’s breed, gender, and body measurements, but overall veterinarians use this percentage as a baseline to determine a cat’s healthy weight range. If a cat is obese, then there are a number of complications that can impact her quality of life.
Some of these complications include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Cardiovascular issues
These are just a few of the complications that can arise from feline obesity. This is why it’s important for cat owners to educate themselves and take steps towards preventing it.
There are three main things to consider:
- What they eat
- How much they eat
- How they eat
1. What they eat
The first step towards preventing feline obesity is realizing that overfeeding isn’t the only cause of the problem. Yes, it is one of the main reasons, but the quality of food is just as important as portion size. As humans, we watch what we put in our body in terms of preservatives, fat content, and sugar… so why shouldn’t we do the same for our cats?
Poor nutritional value=the higher likelihood of feline obesity.
So, make sure that you’re checking the ingredients in your cat’s food and working with your veterinarian to develop the best diet for your cat.
2. How much they eat
If you put a bowl of food down, there is no doubt a cat will eat all of it. It’s like putting a giant bowl of ice cream in front of a child! No doubt, they’re going to chow down on it until they get a belly ache. We wouldn’t just stuff our child to max capacity, which is why we shouldn’t do the same for our cats. Instead, using timed feeders is a great way to control “meal times” for our furkids and keep them from overeating.
Once you have a healthy food picked out, it’s important to portion out the food throughout the day. Cats are natural born hunters and their wild counterparts eat several small meals a day instead of one or two big meals. We get it, this can be difficult for cat owners who work a 9-5 job. With no one home to feed their furry friend throughout the day, they usually rely on free-feeders. Unfortunately, a cat who isn’t stimulated enough throughout the day is going to get bored and we all know what that means! Emotional hunger is a shortcut on the path to obesity.
Thankfully, with the growing population of overweight cats, many companies have developed a solution to overfeeding: portion-controlled feeders. These feeders can be programmed to dispel specific amounts of food throughout the day. This gives busy cat owners a healthy method of feeding their cats instead of just dropping unlimited quantities of food.
It’s genius, really.
3. How they eat
Eating out of a bowl is not the way of the wild - out there they work for their food. Some products recreate this in your home. Our puzzle feeder is one example...
Here at Cat Amazing, we wanted to take the portion-controlled feeders to the next level. We worked with our own fur-babies to develop a solution that provides exercise to combat obesity and proper portion sizes. We created the Cat Amazing EPIC! puzzle feeder, which consists of multiple levels that challenge your cat’s natural ability to hunt while engaging in an interesting play.
Remember what we said earlier about bored cats? Well, the Cat Amazing EPIC! toy combats boredom by providing mental stimulation, exercise, and controls the amount of food she eats. As an added bonus, we only use recycled materials. So, you can feel good about supporting the environment and all of those other wild jungle cats, while still supporting your own!
Whether your cat has been diagnosed with obesity, or you’re just working to prevent it, you should consider the three options we discussed. We guarantee, your cat will definitely thank you!You can read more about the various levels our Cat Amazing EPIC! toy offers here.