Feline obesity is on the rise. While chubby cats sure are cute and fun to cuddle with, the extra weight can make your cat far more susceptible to health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, and liver disease. Along with making sure your cat gets regular exercise through play, keeping an eye on her diet can help keep her at a healthier and safer weight. Here are 5 tips to avoid overfeeding your cat.
#1 – High quality food
Brands of foods that are full of fillers will require your cat to eat more in order to feel satisfied. Instead, ask your veterinarian for suggestions for a high quality food that can more easily meet your cat’s nutritional needs.
#2 – Feed according to weight
Many cat parents never bother to read the labels on the cat food containers before dishing out dinner. If you take a look, you’ll find some useful information including guidelines for how much your cat should be eating according to how much she weighs. Feeding according to these guidelines will make sure your cat is getting proper nutrition in a reasonable amount of calories.
#3 – Stay on schedule
Our cats have us trained. They know that if they circle the food bowl and meow at us we’ll toss some more food into it. Then they’ll habitually eat the food, whether they’re hungry or not. To reel in your cat’s diet, make a feeding schedule and stick to it. Your cat will stop begging once she realizes you’re not going to cave.
#4 – Food puzzles
Lots of cats overeat simply because they’re bored. In addition to creating an all-around more stimulating home environment, add a food puzzle to meal times. A food puzzle will make her slow down while she’s eating, which will prolong the meal and keep her engaged without adding more calories. It will also activate her prey instincts, which will keep her excited and active.
#5 – Don’t free feed
One of the best parts about cats is that they’re fairly self-sufficient. It’s convenient to be able to be away from home for the day and leave them with a bowl of food, but that’s not the best option if your cat is prone to overeating. If your schedule doesn’t allow for you to be home at set times to dish out meals, consider adding a timed feeder to your home. A timed feeder will keep your cat’s mealtimes on a consistent schedule even when you aren’t around.