Display until March 24, 2015
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DEAR PAW’S CORNER: The veterinarian said my cat “Frederick” is 15 pounds overweight. He’s always been a big cat; is the vet right? — David J., via email
DEAR DAVID: Vets are pretty good at figuring this stuff out, so yes, Frederick probably needs to lose the weight. Believe me, you’ll be doing a good thing for your cat — not only extending his life, but improving the overall quality of his life.
Obesity in pets has increased steadily over the past decade or so. In 2018, pet insurer Nationwide said nearly 20 percent of the claims filed were for obesity-related diseases in dogs and cats. Things like arthritis, diabetes, liver disease and heart failure. And those claims have risen 24 percent over the past eight years.
The best way to help Frederick lose weight is to control his eating. You’ll need to know how many calories per day he should eat, based on his current weight. Indoor cats need about 20 calories per day for each pound that they weigh. So, if Frederick weighs, say, 25 pounds, he needs about 500 calories per day to stay the same weight. To LOSE weight, he needs to eat less — about 50 calories less to start, so about 450 calories per day. (That way he won’t be absolutely starving.) Check the calories per serving on the back of the cat food you feed him and adjust the amount accordingly.
You can find more tips on helping cats lose weight from All Feline Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska (www.allfelinehospital.com/getting-your-cat-to-lose-weight).
You’ll be giving Frederick the best gift he could receive: a healthier life.
Send your questions or pet care tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.