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June 22, 2012

Junk in the Trunk: Biggest Loser, Feline-Style

Use these tips to turn your furry beach ball into a bikini model

All Animals magazine July/August 2012

  • Otto may be 10 pounds lighter, but he's still the boss.  Lisa J. Godfrey

by Arna Cohen

Your cat didn’t pack on the pounds all by himself—he had your help! And now he needs your help to take off the weight. Follow these guidelines to get your fat feline back to fit and fabulous.

VET? CHECK! Ask your veterinarian to create a safe program based on your cat’s energy needs and ideal weight for his size—8 to 10 pounds for most cats, or 11 to 14 for those with large frames. To avoid fatty liver disease and other health problems, make sure your cat is eating enough for a slow weight loss of no more than 3 to 4 ounces a week.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Spread your cat’s calorie allotment among three or four small meals to keep his metabolism and energy level up. Serve the last meal at bedtime so he won’t wake you begging for a midnight snack.

A TRUCE ON TREATS. Instead of giving a treat every time your cat meows at you, give him some playtime, a brushing session, or simply a few pets. If you can’t resist providing the occasional treat, make your cat work for it: Toss the morsel across the room or put it in a dispensing toy that he has to bat around.

PURRSONAL TRAINER. Set aside time every day to get your kitty off the couch and moving around. He’ll become more active as his weight drops. Find exercise tips and other feline weight loss tools at catinfo.org and petobesityprevention.org.

Get your cat moving with leash training, indoor walkways, and a variety of toys. Learn more at humanesociety.org/cats.

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