Treats may be your biggest enemy in the fat cat battle as they pack a surprising calorie punch. The average adult housecat requires only about 180 to 200 calories each day so a one inch cube of cheddar cheese (about 70 calories) can wreak havoc on your cat’s weight.
When compared to an average person eating a 2000 calorie diet, this small cube of cheese is equivalent to eating three chocolate bars (690 calories) in addition to normal meals!
Avoid high calorie tid bits (cheese, steak, pizza, et cetera) as the calories will add up quickly. Choose healthy lean meats or low calorie treats.
Too many treats
Many people feed commercial cat treats which commonly have between three to four calories each. This isn’t a problem if only five or six treats are fed each day, however, some cat owners will give 20 (or more) which is equivalent to an average adult drinking five regular Cokes (700 calories) in addition to normal meals!
Give no more than 20 calories as treats each day and keep your cats total calorie intake (food and treats) around 180 or 200 calories.
Large food portions
The average commercial cat food has around 400 calories per cup, therefore the typical cat portion is around half cup each day.
Use a level measuring cup when feeding your cat. Don’t make it a rounded cup or a heaping tablespoon as those extra calories will be enough over time to cause your cat to pack on the pounds.
Leaving food out in the bowl all day long is a recipe for disaster. Cats will eat when bored or when just walking by…instead of when really hungry.
Skip leaving dry food out all day and make a real meal time. This strategy is particularly important for rescue or previously stray cats. These cats, unaccustomed to food being readily available, will often become obese due to overeating if they are free-fed.
Competition for food
In households with multiple cats, when one cat goes to the food bowl others are often driven there out of curiosity or competitive instinct instead of real hunger.
Change to meal feeding or consider separate feeding rooms if there is real competition. —