Did you know that more than 50% of cats are overweight? Weight issues can have some serious health consequences for your kitty, such as diabetes, reduced activity levels, struvite crystals, poor grooming habits, depression, and even a decreased lifespan.
A cat that’s at a healthy weight will have a visible waist behind her ribs. You should be able to feel her ribs, but not see them, and she should have a minimal “paunch” in her belly area.
If you are trying to help your kitty trim her waistline, it is recommended that you feed her a diet that’s higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, for a couple of important reasons:
1. Protein provides your cat with the same number of calories as a gram of carbohydrates. The difference is that digesting protein requires significantly more of your cat’s energy than digesting carbohydrates.
2. Feeding your cat a diet that is higher in protein helps make her feel fuller longer, so you’ll need less willpower to resist those sweet eyes begging for treats!
When choosing a higher protein food for your cat, look for a product that provides approximately 35% to 45% of its energy from protein. This has been shown to yield a greater overall loss of body weight per week, as compared to cats eating a higher carbohydrate and lower protein diet.
Michele Dixon is the Health and Nutrition Specialist with Petcurean Pet Nutrition (petcurean.com).