It’s just as tough putting an overweight cat on a healthy weight-loss diet as it is for many people to follow their own diet plan.
“There are so many factors,” says Vicki Thayer, DVM, a feline practitioner in Lebanon, Ore., and president of the Winn Feline Foundation. “What does the cat like to eat? Should you cut the amount of food or change the food? It’s complicated determining how much of a particular food a particular cat can eat” to either lose or maintain weight.
“For most cats, weight loss is a real struggle,” adds Beth Hamper, DVM, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. “They’re not like dogs you can take for a long walk.”
Sean Delaney, DVM, a board-certified nutritionist, past chair of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and a nutrition consultant in Davis, Calif., says the consumer switch from canned cat food to dry and then “to super premium or higher-fat dry foods,” led to fatter cats. “The big problem is that cats are being fed very palatable food and just too much of it.”
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