1. Get an accurate weight from your veterinarian. Many clinics have “open hours” or weigh-ins so you can check your cat’s weight-loss progress.
2. According to Tufts’ Nutrition Service, cats can safely lose 0.5 to 2 percent of their body weight weekly. This is a tiny amount: 2 percent of a 10-pound cat is one-fifth of a pound, or 3.2 ounces.
3. Losing more than the desired amount of weight can lead to a significant health problem called hepatic lipidosis (see “Fat Cats: Obesity Isn’t Fun,” December 2017, at catwatchnewseltter.com).
4. While cutting back on the amount of your cat’s regular food may be a good solution, check with your veterinarian. Sometimes cutting back might mean depriving your cat of essential nutrients, such as vitamins that she needs. In those cases, a special weight-reduction diet might be the best option.
5. Add in an exercise program for your cat. She does not have to take up jogging, but planning 10 minutes of active play twice a day can help her to shed those extra pounds. You could get a feather toy for the two of you to play with or just a small rolling ball for her to chase when you roll it. n