Our vet’s top advice for putting your pudgy kitty on a diet.
Q: My indoor cat is pretty pudgy. What can I do to help slim her down?
To help your cat lose weight, put an end to the all-she-can-eat buffet. Because cats tend to graze, you should serve up a set number of calories per day. Work with your vet to figure out the ideal number, and find quality, lean food that lets you reduce calories without sacrificing volume. (Veterinarian Gayle O’Konski favors Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care, $14 for 7 lb.; petco.com.) And while walking your cat is probably not going to happen, says veterinarian Ann Hohenhaus, you can get her to exercise 10 to 30 minutes a day through play, using laser pointers, fishing-pole toys, or food puzzles. (Try the Kong Sway ’N Play, from $16; kongcompany.com or the Trixie Activity Fun Board, $24; chewy.com.) Since cats are natural hunters, explains veterinarian Evan Antin, the key is to “find toys that engage those instincts.”