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Published: Mar 08, 2012

It can be hard to feel in control of your cat's weight, since felines are independent by nature. Unlike dogs, cats tend to eat, sleep and play strictly when they want to. However, if your veterinarian tells you your cat is overweight or obese, there are lifestyle changes you need to make to prevent the extra pounds from causing complications like feline diabetes or other conditions.

Helping your cat lose weight will usually mean adjusting the overall amount you feed, the feeding schedule and getting your cat to engage in more physical activity. Your veterinarian might suggest that you switch food or feed only at specific meal times each day instead of allowing your cat to graze as it pleases.

Cats require only short bursts of physical activity every day to stay lean and healthy.  Interactive toys—like feathers or small animals dangling on the ends of string—are a good place to start in getting your cat to be more active, reports. Chase and catch games or activities with lasers can excite your cat and get it moving.

VCA Animal Hospitals recommends scheduling regular weigh-ins with your vet throughout your cat's weight-loss process. This will help you and the vet adjust the weight loss plan to best meet your goals and keep your cat as healthy as possible.