My cat needs to lose weight!

8039ff95-ebfa-4ce2-828b-b33a9bbfcaa5

Aga Zoltowska advises the best way to help a reader's cat to lose weight...

Q) I’ve been told by my vet that my cat needs to lose weight as he is obese. What’s the best way to help my cat slim down? Is there a veterinary diet? My vet recommended cutting down his treats and increasing his exercises.

Peter Woodman

A) AGA SAYS: I sympathise with you as two of my cats were struggling with their weight! I absolutely agree with your vet. I would start first with writing a little diary, over a week, making a note of what your cat eats, how much, and what treats he gets. Record his activities too. Once you know what is happening, it will be easier for you to understand how to reduce the calories.

I would cut it down slowly, avoiding him getting frustrated with his life changing too much. If he is getting five treats three times a day, give him two each time. Ideally, use a dry cat kibble food as a treat. Exercise is also a great idea. It is critical to know what type of play he loves and be realistic on how much he will engage with each session.

In my experience (reducing weight of my own pets and my patients), specific weight loss diets seem to be the best way. Some people may consider simply cutting down the usual food but if it is cut too much, the essential nutrients may be missing from the amount given and a cat may become unhappy if he doesn’t feel satisfied.

The critical part is to make a plan that will keep your cat unaware of calorific restriction and excited about the new fitness regime. That will make you more likely to continue and achieve the goal.