Question from Talitha:
Hello, I have a 8 month old kitten, who until being desexed was the purfect weight but recently she has been gaining heaps although I am still feeding her the same she gets half a sache of wet food in the morning 1/3 cup biscuits through out the day and the other half of the wet food at night but she is still putting on loads of weight. I am getting quite worried as I do not want to starve her but yet she just seems to be getting bigger, what would u recommend? She spends the bulk of her time inside the house because she is not able to go out outside from the danger of wild tabbys. Would this be a problem? or would it be her breeds shape we believe her to be a Ragdoll cross. Thank u for reading this would love to hear from you.
Answer from Amy:
Adult female Ragdoll cats weigh between 10 - 15 lbs. If your kitten is over that range, it is possible that she may be overweight.
The cause of your cat's weight gain has to do with her being spayed. Spaying or neutering is the best way to control pet populations and help prevent various diseases. However, many studies have concluded that it can increase a cat's appetite and slow down the cat's metabolic rate. This can lead to weight problem which is often associated with other health issues such as arthritis, diabetes and urinary tract diseases.
Don't worry. If you can control your cat's weight within a healthy range, those potential health issues can be greatly reduced. Also an overweight or obese cat can still face those health issues, even though it has not been fixed.
A cat's overall well-being is determined by a combination of diet, exercise and mental and emotional well-being.
Since your cat is putting on obvious weight, you can adjust her diet accordingly. For overweight cats, the best way to control their diet (in my opinion) is to reduce consumption of dry kibbles and feed them mainly on wet food. Wet food contains very little carbohydrates and plenty of protein and good fat they need to sustain their lives. You will be surprised to see that by feeding your cat high quality wet food, she will eat less, her coat will look shinier and she will start gaining muscles instead of fat. (See How to Read Cat Food Labels?)
The reason that many cats overeat or don't seem to be able to stop eating is because they are trying to get the essential daily nutrients they so desire from the little nutrition many low quality cat food products provide. What they are getting is loads of carbohydrates that they do not need. That's one of the most common causes of feline obesity.
By choosing a quality cat food for your cat, you will see noticeable changes in your cat's eating habit, energy level and overall well-being.
Feeding too much of anything is not healthy. Even though you have chosen to feed her quality cat food, you should try to find the right balance for your cat. Often the feeding guideline on the label is not applicable to all cats. It is only a reference, so use your discretion when following the advice. If your cat keeps gaining weight, it is probably a sign for you to cut down on the food.
(Note: if you are switching food for your cat, make sure to do it gradually in order to prevent any digestive tract problems)
Workout is equally important to pets as it is to humans. It can boost up your cat's metabolism and improve her overall physical health. There are many interactive games you can do with your cat such as playing a feather wand or throwing a stuffed mouse for your cat to chase after. Here are a few fun games that you can try with your cat.
As you mentioned that there are many dangerous things outside the house that could potentially harm your cat, so I definitely would not recommend letting your cat be outdoors. If you have limited time to play with your cat, you can look for toys that she can play by herself. Torbo Scratcher is an excellent toy.
Mental and Emotional well-being:
Cats are not good at dealing with stress. Whenever there is a major change in the household or environment, they can develop abnormal behavior or in some cases, get sick because stress has triggered something dorment in their body. A happy and comfortable home and a loving owner will be the best combination for cats to maintain their mental and emotional well-being. I have no doubt that you are a great cat owner that thinks and cares for your cat.
Hope this helps.