Designing a Weight Loss Program
Before starting, if you have not reviewed the general principles for sucessful weight management, take a moment to check out “Helping Your Pet Loses Weight”.
What are you feeding?
The first step is to review the food that is being fed. As a general rule, your household pet needs 20 to 25 calories per pound of desired body weight. That means a 12 pound cat with a goal weight of 10# needs 20 to 25 calories x10 pounds for a total 200-250 total calories.
If you have every counted calories you know this is not a lot of calories. The number calories in a few items people like to feed from the table.
|Tuna 1 oz||30 calories|
|Tuna 1 can||90 calories|
- The average cup of cat food has 400 calories. Beware if you feed the cat food label recommended amount for a household pet. You will create an obese pet.
- Treats often have 5 to 10 calories per treat.
- Weight loss is not a sprint, but a marathon. Weight loss should be gradual for the safety of your pet. For cats, a one half percent to three percent weight loss per month is the goal. That means the twelve pound cat with a goal of ten pounds should lose about 0.7 to 0.3 pounds the first month. In the cat, the goal is to lose the weight desired in three to six months.
- Many diet management programs fail because of the foods which are fed. While pets can lose weight on commerical diets, the numbers are small. The greatest success has been seen with Hill’s prescription Metabolic Diet. Success has been seen in over 80% of cats Check out our Prescription Diet Rewards.
Despite crazy videos on You-tube of cats walking on a treadmill, exercising cats is very difficult. As natural hunters waiting patiently for their prey, they often sit over a mouse hole for extended time periods like a statue. This allows them to conseve energy, and suddenly burst forth to kill their prey as it peaks out of the hole. This experience can occur quickly, as in the blink of an eye. While cats may run to escape harm, they quickly climb a tree or find shelter. Unlike the dog, they are not sprinters.
Exercise is therefore more of a challenge, but can still be very rewarding.
- Play-“ hunt the food”- by moving and rotating the area you place the food which forces the cat to move more looking for food. Consider using food toys that require your cat to work to get the food.
- Use feather toys, flashlights, boxes, paper bags or balls. Use anything that your cat finds interesting to chase. Engage your cat for ten minutes twice a day.
- There are numerous toys that move and squeak that may also be interesting to your cat. Have multiple toys that you may rotate around to challenge and keep you pet health.Experiment and understand that what is exciting today may be boring tomorrow.
- Take it as a personal challenge to create an exciting and active environment for your cat.
Checking the weight once a month is very important. A bathroom scale is totally inaccurate for checking the weight. We are happy to provide a courtesy weight check for an accurate weight. Weight loss for our pets is not easy. However, if you are working hard trying to help your pets lose weight and and not seeing weight loss, then absolutely switch to Hill’s Metabolic Diet. If you have already switched and are not seeing weight loss, then your pet should be evaluated for diseases or medication, both prescription and over the counter, that may be interfering with weight loss.