Are indoor cats more likely to become more overweight than outdoor cats?
Can indoor cats become more overweight and obese than outdoor cats?
It is obvious to any cat owner that if their cat doesn’t exercise enough they are bound to become overweight and eventually suffer from obesity. Just like humans, if they don’t move enough they are prone to pile on the pounds! The weight will increase slowly and before you know it, you’ve got an overweight cat on your hands. If not properly monitored it can be easy for your indoor cat to pile on the weight but also extremely difficult to shed. For maintaining and keeping an eye on your cats weight – ‘prevention is better than cure’.
Outdoor cats do tend to burn more calories. Travelling about the neighbourhood, jumping walls, climbing trees, walking along fences, chasing prey and playing will help an outdoor cat keep itself trim. Some outdoor cats like to spend night after night roaming the neighbourhood, which in turn will burn many calories.
But what about an indoor cat? How can they keep the excess weight off if they don’t (or can’t) go outside?
Keep an eye on your indoor cats weight
Well the first thing to do is keep an eye on is their weight. If you don’t know, ask your vet what the ideal weight of your cat should be and then try to weigh them regularly. Doing this on a regular basis will enable you to check they are putting on too much weight or not.
Weighing a pet isn’t all that easy to do, because asking them to simply step onto the bathroom scales is impossble! A good tip for weighing a small dog or cat is to first of all weigh yourself. Using electronic digital scales is best as they give you a more acurate reading. Make a note of your own weight. Then hold your cat or dog and then weigh yourself again. This will give you a combined weight of both you and your pet. Simply subtract your solo weight from that of you and your pet’s combined weight measurement. Hey presto! You should then have the weight of your cat or dog!
Check their food and feed the correct portion amount
Many cat foods and treats do have nutritional information on them. It maybe in small print, but it should be there. Also check what the ideal feeding portion guidelines are for your cat’s size and breed and follow that to the letter. If you must give your cat treats, keep them to a minimum and include it in their daily food allowance.
So what is a healthy cat’s weight?
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, the following weight ranges are appropriate for healthy cats. Bear in mind that a couple of extra pounds on a small animal like a cat is much different and problematic than a few extra pounds on a human. With an animal as small as a cat, even a couple of pounds of extra weight can make a big difference in its overall health.
Domestic cat: 8-10 lbs
Persian cat: 7-12 lbs
Siamese cat: 5-10 lbs
Maine coon cat: 10-25 lbs
If you are ever concerned about your cat and it’s weight, then speak to your vet. If your cat does become overweight, don’t tackle the issue on your own. A vet will be able to help you with the correct advice and provide you with a sensible diet and eating plan.
Get your indoor cat active and get them to exercise
It’s vital for any indoor cat to exercise regularly. But it’s up to you to provide your cat with the right equipment for them to do so. Buy a cat tower or cat activity tree so they have an ideal place to climb, leap and play. Also provide them with cat toys to keep them moving and mentally stimulated.
It’s also important that you spend some quality time with your cat. Allocate some daily play sessions with your cat, so you can get them moving. They will also cherish this time with you, especially if you have been out o the house all day.
Read our article ‘Exercise tips for indoor cats’ for some great tips and advice on indoor cat exercise.