In the meantime there are ways to help your cat at home, such as weighing out their recommended daily food to control their portion sizes. However, these allowances may need to be adjusted due to factors such as age, gender, and breed. Unfortunately the recommended daily food allowance is not a one guide fits all, and each brand will have their own suggestions.
If you like to give your cat treats then these need to be taken into consideration with their daily food allowance. Treats are fine in moderation, but you will need to reduce the amount of normal food to allow for how many you have given.
Cats should never have a big change to their diet, a slow and steady weight loss is ideal as sudden weight loss can cause further medical issues. You may not see weight change every day so regular weighing is a useful way to monitor progress. In most cases it can take up to a year for an obese cat to achieve its ideal weight.
The same as humans, exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. Typically an indoor cat will be a higher risk of being obese as their exercise levels will be lower than outdoor cats. Ways to get cats to be more active can include feedings balls, which encourage them to work to get their food, again making sure this is within their normal daily allowance. Playing with your cat will also encourages them to exercise, as well as providing bonding time with them.
If you pet is carrying extra weight, it can reduce their quality of life. Our previous blog discussed how to assess your pet to see if they are under or over weight and give you an indication if there is something to be concerned about.
To help your pet stay in the best shape possible, you will need to make sure they get plenty of exercise, have access to good quality food and don’t over indulge. There are lots of ways you can help your pet lose a little weight if they need to, but obviously it is better to avoid their weight becoming an issue in the first place by putting them on a good routine from the day you bring them home.
Overweight pets are usually classed as being over 15% over their recommended ideal weight and obese pets more than 30% over their recommended ideal weight.
This suggests that the dog has a low-level of infection of the novel coronavirus and this is likely to be a result of human to animal transmission. At the moment, evidence would suggest that COVID-19 is not “zoonotic”, and is unlikely to spread from animals to humans, and the predominant route of transmission of COVID-19 is still contact human to human or between humans and inanimate objects.
At this time, the World Health Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) have advised that: “There is no evidence that dogs (or cats) can contract or spread infection of COVID-19.” Pet owners are at no more risk from their furry friends than they are inanimate objects such as a door handle. The best approach is still to stick to good hygiene, using soap and water to wash hands regularly throughout the day.
We will endeavour to keep up to date with the situation, and inform our clients as soon as we have any more information. We advise clients to keep up to date with scientific reports, rather than relying on the tabloid news headlines.
Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook pages for further updates as they become available to us.
- Parasites – Internal parasites can burrow in a cat’s intestinal system and deprive them of the nutrients they require, potentially leading to sudden weight loss
- Gastrointestinal disorders – cats can suffer from gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or food allergies and this may cause gradual weight loss
- Dental problems – if your cat is experiencing dental issues, they may find eating very painful and lose weight as a result of their decreased intake
- Hyperthyroidism – this is a common condition in cats and often will present with a large appetite but continued weight loss
- Diabetes – cats can also suffer from diabetes also known as insulin deficiency, where an animal is unable to absorb sugar from blood
- Chronic Kidney Disease- this is another common condition in cats that may cause gradual or sudden weight loss weight loss depending on the severity of kidney damage
- Liver Disease – Cats that are experiencing liver disease may show weight loss
If your dog is losing or gaining weight, and you have not change their daily allowances of food, there may be an underlying medical condition. Here are some conditions that can influence an animal’s weight.
- Thyroid problems – Dogs can experience thyroid issues which may cause them to gain or lose weight quickly. Hypothyroidism is commonly seen in dogs (more so than hyperthyroidism which is often seen in cats), and can cause individuals to gain weight as a clinical symptom.
- Parasites – Internal parasites can burrow in a dog’s intestinal system and deprive them of the nutrients they require, potentially leading to sudden weight loss.
- Liver Disease – Dogs that are experiencing liver disease may show weight loss.
- Diabetes – Diabetes is also known as insulin deficiency, where an animal is unable to absorb sugar from blood. Diabetic dogs will tend to have a large appetite but still experience weight loss.
- Arthritis – Dogs that are experiencing joint pain may be reluctant to exercise or play and as a result may experience weight gain. A controlled diet to take this into consideration can help.
- Cushing’s Disease – this is a condition where an animal produces too much of a hormone called cortisol. This condition is normally accompanied by weight gain.
- Dental problems – if your dog is experiencing dental issues, they may find eating very painful and lose weight as a result of their decreased intake.