14 Easy Ways to Help Your Cat Lose Weight (2023 Update)

help your cat lose weight

Like humans, cats need a healthy diet and exercise to control their weight. Healthy-weight cats are happier, more agile, and tend to live longer. As the cat’s caretaker, helping your cat lose weight is the most important thing to do to ensure your cat’s long-term health and well-being.

So how to help your cat lose weight?

To help your furry feline lose weight, we’ve compiled a list of ways around. These ways are based on three key factors:

  • safe
  • effective
  • sustainable

So let’s get started.

Adjusting your cat’s diet

1. Get your cat checked by your vet

 Get your cat checked by your vet

Though it may be tempting to switch your cat’s diet right away without going to the vet, this could create a serious health issue such as hepatic lipidosis.

So it is a good idea to bring your cat to your vet for a check up and a consultation before you put her on a weight loss plan.

Your vet will do a physical exam of your cat to determine her level of obesity. And then ensure the cat does not have any underlying diseases or health issues that could affect your cat weight loss.

2. Determine your cat’s target weight

Determine your cat's target weight

With the assistance of your vet, you can figure out how much food you should give your cat and determine your cat’s target weight.

The average domestic cat should weigh around 8-10 pounds or 3.6-4.4 kg. Depending on how obese your cat is, your vet may recommend a target weight for your cat.

For example, if your cat weighs 18 pounds, her ideal weight may be around 10 to 12 pounds.

3. Figure out your cat’s ideal calorie intake

Figure out your cat's ideal calorie intake

Theoretically, weight loss seems simple enough: fewer calories in plus more calories out equals weight loss.

You can use the following formula: RER in kcal/day = 30(body weight in kilograms) + 70. To help your cat lose weight, you should feed her about 80% of the RER or multiple her RER by 0.8.

Keep in mind the daily calorie intake should be used as a guideline. And always be observant and report to your vet any time if your cat stops eating for two or more days.

4. Look for canned high quality food for your cat

Look for canned high quality food for your cat

Canned wet food is also better than dry food because it does not allow your cat to nibble on food all day long.

For many overweight cats, canned wet food can be an effective way to lose weight. Plus, our furry friends love them. That’s sort of important, right?

5. Transition your cat slowly into her new diet

Transition your cat slowly into her new diet

To avoid freaking out your cat’s system, you should allow for one to two weeks to transition your cat into her new diet.

Mix the new diet with the old, slowly decreasing the percentage of the old diet and increasing the percentage of the new one.

Adding a small amount of flavoring such as ketchup and salmon or tuna juice is also a good way to encourage your cat to eat her new food.

6. Add dietary supplements to your cat’s diet

Add dietary supplements to your cat's diet

Feeding your cat less food will also mean she going to get fewer nutrients. You should give your cat supplements to ensure she stays healthy and active.

L-Carnitine supplements have been shown in several studies to give the cat’s metabolism.

Talk to your vet about whether L-Carnitine (or other supplements) make sense for your cat.

7. Give your cat low calorie treats

Give your cat low calorie treats

You can also look for low calorie commercial treats for your cat. However, check the ingredients to ensure the treats are not high in sugar, fat, or empty calories.

In most cases, feeding a diet that provides 60% to 70% of the calories needed to maintain the cat’s current body weight is a safe starting point of weight loss.

Getting your cat to exercise

8. Play with your cat

Participate in your cat’s weight loss by playing with her at least once to twice a day. Get your cat to chase around her toys and chase you when you are holding her toys.

You may want to also motivate her by giving her a low calorie treat after each play session as a reward. Some tips can help you communicate with your cat.

9. Try walking your cat on a leash

Try walking your cat on a leash

Some cats enjoy going for a walk on a leash and some cats do not.

Try it a few times indoors before you brave the great unknown together.

10. Put climbing and scratching posts in your cat’s space

Put climbing and scratching posts in your cat's space

The posts should have multiple levels with different scratching areas. This will force your cat to climb and stretch to get to certain areas on the post.

Place your cat’s toys on different areas of the post to encourage the cat to climb and stretch for the toys.

11. Create interactive toys with toilet paper rolls and boxes

Create interactive toys with toilet paper rolls and boxes

You can also encourage your cat to get moving by making simple, interactive toys.

These kinds of interactive toys can encourage your cat to play and exercise throughout the day. They are especially useful for cats who are indoor cats and do not spend much time playing or running around outside.

Maintaining your cat’s weight loss

12. Weigh your cat regularly

Weigh your cat regularly

You should weight your cat on the same scale at the same time of day once a day. You may need to use a smaller sized scale to weigh your cat to ensure the numbers are accurate.

Note your cat’s daily weight in a log and pay attention to how much weight your cat is losing every week or every month. The weight loss should be consistent and gradual.

13. Monitor your cat’s progress in a written log

Monitor your cat's progress in a written log

Keeping track of your cat’s weight loss will give you a better sense of the effectiveness of her diet and her level of exercise,

A good way to monitor your cat’s progress is to take before and after pictures of your cat. Make sure you are also talking to your vet on a regular basis and reporting your cat’s weight loss progress to your vet.

14. Adopt a long term diet and exercise plan for your cat

Adopt a long term diet and exercise plan for your cat

You should make monthly appointments with your vet to ensure your cat is losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

Once she hits her goal weight, you should adopt a long term plan so she keeps the weight off. Then, focus on making her diet and exercise a sustainable and normal thing for her.

Cat lose weight FAQ

What if the cat doesn’t play much?

If your cat doesn’t want to play you cannot make it want to, but you can try to tease it a little with a treat by having it follow you around while you hold the treat.

My cat can’t meow and has a hoarse voice. What’s should I do?

The best advice for this problem is you should take your cat to the vet.

How do I help my cat do more excise when it is hot outside, and she’s always wanting to stay in the bushes?

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Try giving her a cat tree, and see if that helps. She clearly does not like to go outside, so focus on exercise inside. Get a few cat playsets, and a laser for her to chase.

I’m worried about my kitten. She is about 6-7 months, exercises, has a cat tree, but weighs six pounds. Is this normal?

Some cats are naturally small, especially kittens. Ask your vet if you have concerns just to be safe.

We’re not veterinarians. Cute Cats Staff are well educated, and our writing is well-researched, but neither the advice of a Cute Cats Staff member nor reading Cute Cats’s written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian.

We offer carefully chosen, natural solutions, but we believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.

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