If your dog starts packing on the pounds, you take him for walks to get him moving. With cats, it’s more difficult. Today’s felines lead an inactive lifestyle, says veterinarian James Richards, director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell University. “More and more cats are living indoors, so they’re not out running around burning off calories.”
If you can feel your cat’s ribs with your fingers and see his waistline, he’s probably healthy. If not, help your kitty drop some weight:
1. Get him to play. Invest in some interactive toys such as a fishing-pole line for him to chase.
2. Watch portions. Keep her food out of reach when you’re not home. Cats should be fed mornings and evenings — don’t let them graze all day.
3. Make him move. Encourage your cat to climb by putting a table in front of a window that looks out to a bird feeder or some alluring sight.
4. Be patient. Have your vet weigh the kitty every few weeks at the start of the weight-loss program. Cats can safely lose up to 1% of their initial body weight per week.