There is so much talk about the obesity epidemic that is now affecting our cats and dogs. While this is absolutely true, there is so much more talk about how to combat this growing problem, most of it false.
Before the invention of kibble, it was not necessary or recommended to put food down for your cat for the day. Why would your cat need food constantly? Yes, wild cats eat many small meals per day. However, the food needs to be found, hunted, killed and then eaten. This repeated scenario takes time and energy. Unfortunately for our cats, kibble is actually a matter of convenience for us humans. I’ll admit, I found it rather appealing when I adopted my first cat. Put down kibble, go to work, party with your friends afterwards, go home, go to bed, get up the next morning, repeat.
But we have, in essence, created miniature kibble zombies that are seemingly always at the food bowl and expanding well past their whiskers. So begins the 4 Step Program.
1. We reduce the quantity of the food and cut out all treats and extras but find they are still gaining weight.
2. We change their food to a reduced fat and/or high fiber offering. Not only do they not like it but even after they finally decide to eat it, if they do, they seem even more famished and are still gaining weight.
3. So next we feed them mealtime only, and now they are a mewing nuisance whenever we walk into the kitchen. Don’t they know they are on a diet? Do they not want to look and climb like a svelte abyssinian? And still they are gaining weight.
4. Next, we get out the interactive toys but alas, still no weight loss, although it’s hard to lose weight when you’re laying on your side haphazardly whacking at the feather with your paw. Although the human may get some benefit from running and fetching the balls that are also whacked.
This common recommended program of weight loss for your cat will set both of you up for failure.