Dear Tabby: Is My Cat Fat?
I have a 4 year old cat that we rescued about 2 years ago. She’s a sweet cat, named Sarah, but I think she is overweight. We’ve never had cats before, but my aunt did and she would just put a big bowl of food out for her cats everyday. We do that for Sarah, but she eats it all in the morning, so sometimes I give her more at night because she seems to be starving. Is that okay? She doesn’t do much but lie around and sleep.
Mom to a Fat Cat
Dear Fat Cat Mom,
Free feeding works only if the cat eats only when they are hungry. It sounds like Sarah eats whenever there is food available. First thing is to stop doing that and talk to your vet about your cat’s weight. There are body condition charts that you can also use to see if your cat is overweight. You have to be really honest if you use these and don’t try to delude yourself.
Here’s a great article on free feeding from the Feline Nutrition Organization…Cats are Not Cows!
In addition, YES you should exercise your cat. A 4-year old cat has many years ahead of them and exercise is as important to their health and longevity as it is for you. We’ve posted several pieces on exercising your cat – check some of them out for some easy exercise ideas.
- Six Tips for Exercising an Indoor Cat
- Five Interactive Toys your Cat Wants
- Getting your Tubby Tabby Back Into Shape
Good luck and keep us posted.