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72–75 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Kitten

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How to Help a Fat Cat Lose Weight

Vets estimate that 40 percent of cats are obese. Many people think fat cats are cute, but obesity is just as dangerous for cats as it is for humans. Excess weight contributes to arthritis and heart problems, and leads to a fourfold increase in the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. If you're not sure whether your cat is overweight, check the Purina Body Condition Scale for pictures and descriptions of various cat body conditions.

Here are some general tips for helping your cat lose weight:

  • Feed a restricted-calorie reducing diet. Current studies suggest that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet works best. A high-protein diet is closer to the cat's natural diet, too.

  • Feed regular, measured meals two or three times a day rather than free-feeding.

  • Don't feed your cat table scraps or treats. Set aside a few bits of your cat's regular ration for treats during the day.

  • Monitor your cat to make sure she's not sneaking food from other places or eating at neighbors' houses.

  • Chart your cat's weight weekly. A digital baby scale is very helpful for this purpose. The cat should lose about 1 percent of her body weight each week.

  • Provide daily exercise and human companionship. Toys, games, and even making your cat work for her food (by putting it into interactive toys or moving her dishes) will reduce boredom and increase the amount of calories she burns.

  • Some vets have recommended L-carnitine as a supplement because it might increase lean body mass. Check with your vet before giving your cat supplements.

Once your cat is down to a healthy weight, feed her a high-quality balanced food, in the proper amount, to maintain her new weight.

If your cat is obese, it's crucial that you work with your veterinarian to put together a weight-reducing diet and a healthy schedule for weight loss. Cats that lose weight too quickly are prone to get hepatic lipidosis, a potentially fatal condition where fat builds up in the liver and interferes with its function.

Advice from Other Cat Owners 

What to Feed a Kitten

Some wet food is already formulated for all ages, but depending on what you plan on feeding for wet, the best thing to do is check on the label of the stuff you are feeding your kitten right now.

I know that EVO and Avoderm are all-ages for sure, whereas I am not sure about the others. Mostly, as with all canned food, you want to make sure it is a complete source of nutrition (for example, Merrick's wet is specifically marked as being a "supplement" food, not a complete source of nutrition), and it should be enough to keep a kitten healthy.

Kittens should be fed more often than adult cats, but around the six month mark you can start transitioning them to regular meals, though they might get a bit more food per feeding than the adults would. At seven months, the kitten you are planning on adopting can be put on a two meal schedule if that's what the others are currently on.

~Annalisa C., owner of Domestic Medium Hair

How to Keep Your Kitten from Eating Your Food

You will need to become super vigilant about picking up wrappers and throwing them away. If you put the trashcan in a cabinet, purchase those child safety locks and put it on the cabinet door. Rinse and wash all plates right after you're done. If you like to sit and chat around the dinner table, you'll have to do it without your dinner plates in front of you.

You can put him in the other room while you eat. If you truly want to break him of this habit, you'll need to make sure that no human food is left out anywhere in your apartment. You can also purchase "canned air" from an office supply store and when he jumps up to scarf food off your plates, give him a blast of the air (but not in the face). It takes vigilance and dedication on your part and that of anyone else who lives with you, but your cat can be trained to leave your food alone.

~Joy W., owner of Maine Coon mix

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