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Published: Mar 15, 2012

Many people think that when a cat gets fat, there is simply more to love. However, no matter how cute, fluffy or lovable you think it makes your cat look, cat obesity is a serious health issue for felines.

The major concern for overweight or obese cats is the increased risk of diabetes. Feline diabetes often requires you to feed your cat a special diet, inject insulin daily or give medication to regulate your cat's blood sugar, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to this, obese cats have an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and some types of cancer - conditions that may be painful for your pet and expensive for you.

Even if your cat does not develop one of these common obesity complications, excess weight can cause pain in the joints of cats. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that obesity causes and enhances inflammation in cats with osteoarthritis.  In addition to the physical wear and tear on joints, veterinarians now know that excess fat tissue secretes hormones and chemicals that also increases inflammation and soreness of the joints.

The best treatment for obesity is to prevent your cat from gaining excess weight. It is important to provide your cat with a nutritionally balanced cat diet. Speak to your veterinarian about choosing the most appropriate food for your cat and what size portions your cat should receive to stay at their healthy weight.  Adding exercise to their daily activities is important to keeping a lean body.

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