Cats Encouraged to ‘Tone It Up’

Bravo stars Karena and Katrina bring their exercise savvy to cats for the Why Weight? campaign to curb feline obesity.

Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson, best friends and owners of Tone It Up personal training and nutrition service in Los Angeles, have found new clients: Cats. Purina’s new kitty-weight program called Why Weight? hopes to recruit 100,000 pledges from people to help keep their cats healthy and lean. With the help of Karena and Katrina, they now have nearly 107,000 pledges.

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Friends for about six years, Karena and Katrina found each other in the most likely of places for them to meet – the gym. “It seems like we’ve been friends forever,” Karena laughs. When they realized they both had the goal of helping people become healthier, they decided to co-found Tone It Up. Their workout videos are shot in the most beautiful places in the area, including the beaches of Malibu.

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“Actually, we film where we’re allowed,” Katrina giggles.

You might also know them from their reality show on the Bravo network called “Tone It Up.”  The company co-owners and co-stars were also roommates for a long time, but when Katrina got engaged, they had to make a difficult decision: Who would get their cat, Monkey?

“I did!” Karena exclaims.

Check out the Why Weight? campaign against cat obesity >>

While in New York City for a Purina Why Weight? event, Katrina and Karena put on a 45-pound weight vest while maneuvering through various cat-playing situations. The reason for this amount of weight is because an extra 3 pounds on a 10-pound cat is the same as a 150-pound human having 45 pounds of extra weight. After donning the vest, they then went as fast as they could on all fours through a tunnel similar to the tunnels kitties love running through. Then, feathered cat toys were whipped into the air for the them to jump at. They quickly realized just how really difficult that extra 3 pounds on a cat can make. Katrina needed to take off the weight vest for the next “training” session due to neck and knee issues from the added weight.

On top of organ issues and possible feline diabetes, a cat’s extra weight can also hurt their ligaments and joints. Katrina and Karena want to make sure pet parents know that just because their cat isn’t playing a lot and seems a little bit down, it doesn’t mean they simply don’t want to play or are depressed. They could actually be in a lot of pain, keeping them from playing, and therefore keeping them from losing weight. Portion control is a good start. If you think your cat is in danger of getting health problems due to obesity, take him or her to your veterinarian for a check-up.

Don’t miss Katrina and Karena on Twitter Apr. 23 at 8 p.m. EDT at @ToneItUp.

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