Dr Harry: Keeping your cat at the right weight
I want to talk about fat cats, because this is a major problem today. I would think that half the cats that go to veterinary clinics in America are overweight, and we tend to slavishly follow what goes on in the United States. So, we’re seeing so many overweight cats in Australia too. The average cat probably weighs 4 or 5 kilos, that’s about it, if it’s in good condition. But we see cats that are 13, 14, 15 kilos and above. I’ve had one that was nearly 20 kilos! That’s one enormous cat. How do these cats excercise? Guess what - they don't. They can't!
A lot of people leave food out continuously for cats, and they tend to graze all the time so there’s no restriction. People love their animals and it comes down to this: “I love you. Have something to eat." But you know what? A bit of a pat on the head or a quick groom or something like that is a lot more valuable to your pet than a little treat.
I like to restrict cats and only feed them twice a day, I don’t like them grazing all day. I’d rather they just have something in the morning, and then something again in the evening and that way you can control their weight.
Most veterinary clinics have a set of scales. You’ll be able to find out what your dog should weigh or what your cat should weigh, and stick to it.
We have so many obese animals today and diabetes is the next thing down the track. Not only that, their skeleton was built to hold so much weight. You overload that skeleton, and what happens if you overload it? It bows in the middle, arthritis, joint injury, all that sort of stuff. Keep animals down to a working weight, that’s what's important.