How Weight Gain Affects Your Cat

How Weight Gain Affects Your CatAre you worried about your cat’s weight? The next time you see a pleading look and hear a pitiful ‘meeeeoowwww’ from your plump kitty begging for a treat or looking accusingly at their empty food bowl, think carefully. Most of the time your answer should be “Nope. And it’s for your own good”. And, that’ will be the truth – allowing your best friend to become overweight does not contribute positively toward their health.

Just like their owners, when cats carry around extra pounds it places extra demands on almost every organ in their bodies. When these organs are overloaded, it can result in disease and even death. Because the health risks involved with obesity in cats are serious as a responsible cat caretaker, it’s your responsibility to understand the consequences of over-feeding and handing out too many treats. Here are the most common consequences of obesity in cats.

6 Consequences Of Weight Gain In Your Cat

Diabetes Mellitus

One of the most common effects of obesity in felines is the development of diabetes – an overweight or obese cat is two to four times more likely to develop diabetes than their thinner counterparts. Being obsess and having an increased blood glucose level increases the insulin response in an overweight cat. When more insulin is required than the body can produce, it results in diabetes mellitus. The longer the increased need for insulin is sustained, the more likely insulin-producing cells in the pancreas will “burn out”, which also causes diabetes.

Liver Disease

Because excessive fat is stored in the liver, when a cat is obese, fat builds up in their liver. Hepatic lipidosis, this is a very common ailment of overweight cats. It results in a reduction of liver function, which can be life-threatening in the event that the cat is stressed, doesn’t eat, or experiences a rapid weight loss.

Arthritis and Injury

The risk of an obese cat developing arthritis or sustaining an injury is three to five times more likely than in cats boasting an optimal weight. Some studies indicate that obese cats may produce abnormal cartilage, and the extra weight puts increased force on joints when the cat jumps down from a high place.

Skin Issues

Your chubby cat is twice as likely to develop non-allergenic skin issues such as dry, flaky skin or feline acne, than cats of normal weight. Additionally, fat cats often find it difficult to properly groom themselves, which exacerbates the problem.

Surgical and Anesthetic Risks

Veterinarians have to take extra precautions when administering anesthesia and performing surgical procedures on obese cats. The extra fat interferes with maintaining anesthesia levels, and a fatty liver isn’t as efficient at clearing drugs and anesthetics, increasing recovery time. Additionally, extra fat in the tissues obscures the surgical area, making it more difficult to navigate and increasing the surgical time, which increases anesthesia risks.

Decreased Quality of Life

Being overweight impacts a cat’s overall health, ability to move and groom, which decreased their quality of life while cutting their lifespan short. Being obese may make your cat irritable due to pain or discomfort. So the next time kitty begs for treats, think twice and just say no.

Your cat might look fat and happy, but their weight can be detrimental to their health. For more information about keeping your cat slim and trim, schedule an apointment with Colorado Cat Specialist today!