It can be done! Successful feline weight loss

Feline obesity has been in the news many times, usually featuring amazingly fat cats. Sadly, a recent case in Ottawa involved animal cruelty charges over a 12-year old cat so obese that he had to be humanely euthanized due to poor health.

The news is not all bad – we’d like to celebrate some successful weight loss stories in our patients. Reducing their weight has decreased their risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and cancer. It’s also enriched their lives by making them more mobile and playful.

Meet Handsome – he’s been on a weight loss program that has truly paid off. Once weighing in at 10.2 kg (22.5 lb), he now weighs under 7 kg (15 lb), a far healthier weight. Handsome’s owner says he is more energetic and playful and he can now jump to places he couldn’t reach before!

Here is his “before” photo:

Handsome Christma 2009

And here is Handsome in March of this year with his owner and Dr. Hughes, who has been supervising his weight loss program:

Handsome Staples March 2013

Lily is a sweet 5 year old female who was adopted from the Humane Society last fall. Her owner immediately knew she needed a weight loss plan to ensure her health. Lily started at 5.9 kg (13 lb) with an estimated 40% body fat. Here’s her ‘before’ photo:

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And here she is last month (May 2013) at a trim 5.1 kg (11.2 lb), having lost 13% of her starting body weight so far!

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One of the keys to success for Lily was using a food puzzle so that she works for her food which is more interesting and challenging than simply walking to the food dish.

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You can learn more about the pet obesity epidemic in a blog post we wrote in October 2012, including the startling fact that about 55% of adult cats are either overweight or obese. You can also listen to a story from last March on CBC radio’s The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti on the growing trend of pet obesity.

Veterinarians have dietary options as well as other tools and plans to help you accomplish safe and successful weight loss for your cat. It can be done!

[Dr. Susan Little]

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