By some estimates, almost 50% of cats in the United States are either overweight or obese. A few extra pounds might seem adorable on your sweet kitty, but the truth is that being overweight carries serious health consequences for felines. Below are seven health risks overweight cats face:
1. High blood pressure: Just like people, overweight cats are more likely to develop hypertension than their healthy weight counterparts.
2. Joint pain: Too much excess weight puts stress on the joints, which can be seriously painful. Jumping on and off furniture and other familiar activities can become difficult and stressful on the joints.
3. Diabetes mellitus: For overweight cats, insulin requirements may exceed the body’s ability to produce it, causing diabetes.
4. Urinary tract disease: Lack of activity can contribute to urinary tract disease in cats.
5. Greater surgical risk: For felines that have compromised liver or kidney function due to obesity, anesthetic drugs aren’t always metabolized correctly, which can lead to an overdose.
6. Digestive issues: Overweight and obese cats are at a higher risk of developing constipation and flatulence.
7. Skin fold pyoderma: Extra skin can cause folding, which increases risk of infection. Pyoderma is characterized by itchiness, crusty skin, hair loss, and discharge, and lesions.
If your kitty has packed on a few extra pounds, speak with your veterinarian about a weight control cat food and a healthy weight loss plan.