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Special Strategy Required to Help Your Cat Shed Extra Pounds

- Provided by VetStreet.com
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Too much food and too little exercise is doing to our cats exactly what it's doing to us -- making them fat. And with felines, just as with as humans, obesity all too often leads to diabetes, joint diseases, heart problems, increased risk of cancer, and other serious health and behavioral issues.

Weight loss is important, but a crash diet for a cat can be deadly. If overweight cats lose weight too quickly, they can develop a serious liver disorder that can be challenging to treat and is occasionally fatal. It's called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease.

Hepatic lipidosis isn't just a problem with dieting cats, either. It's also a problem with sick cats who cannot or will not eat. And it can rear its fatty head when people switch cat foods and think, "If the cat gets hungry enough, she'll eat." A cat can and will starve herself into this potentially fatal condition.

To be safe, cats should lose weight gradually, no more than 1 percent of their body weight per week. The goal is to drop the excess over a period of five or six months.

The best approach to weight loss in cats is a combination of moderate calorie restriction -- ask your veterinarian for dietary guidance -- and increased exercise. Try throwing a mouse-shaped toy or playing with a fishing pole-type toy -- anything to get your cat up and moving. Be on the lookout, though, for heavy breathing, fatigue, or other evidence that kitty needs a break.

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General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.

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