The Official Houston SPCA Humane Education Blog

Teaching us about our animal friends

Helping Your Fat Cat Slim Down

Everyone loves a fat cat  – they are big, fluffy furballs that steal our hearts. They have even become famous with celebrities such as Garfield and Pusheen.

However, if your cat is overweight, he or she may be at risk for health problems. According to, overweight and obese cats actually outnumber cats that are normal weight. Overweight cats are also being seen more often by veterinarians and are more likely to have cat diabetes, arthritis and liver disease. Click the Hill’s Science Diet Tips & Tools chart below to see if your pet may be overweight.

Hill's Science Diet Tools

Why are we seeing more and more fat cats?

The answer is simple – any animal will gain weight if it consumes more calories than it burns. Many cats have become comfortable with their owners ‘free choice’ feeding (keeping a food bowl full all day) or giving them lots of delicious treats. While this may keep our cats happy and very full, it can be harmful to their health.

As pet owners, we are the solution to the fat cat problem.

Weight loss plans for your cat should be taken seriously and approached carefully. Any and all changes in diet for your pet should be prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian. You want to make sure that your vet finds your cat’s exact weight,  gives a full physical examination, and does blood and urine sample testing. You do not want to start any sort of new food or feeding regimen without your vet’s approval!


Once your vet has given his or her recommendation for a diet and exercise plan – stick to it!

If your vet has asked that you increase the amount of exercise your cat is getting, the best way to do that is to play with them! You can also add some interactive play toys to your cats environment or even adopt a new friend to play with from your local animal shelter. Getting your cat moving is a great step forward in helping them lose weight.

Your vet may ask you to switch your cat’s food to one with a lower fat content and higher lean protein content. All pet foods have nutrition labels, just like human foods, and you should be paying attention to what is written in the ingredients as well as content percentages.

When we have overweight cats arrive at the Houston SPCA, we feed them Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight to help them shed a few pounds before going home to a new family. We always make sure to feed them the correct amount of food, according to our veterinarians, twice a day to spread out their meals and keep them happy and full all day long. Many of our cats at the shelter love playing with toys and with people which helps them get a bit of exercise as well.

We hope that if you have a fat cat at home that you will help them become slim and trim, with help from your vet, so they can live a long and healthy life!

We would also like to thank Hill’s Science Diet for their amazing contributions to the Houston SPCA which helps keep our animals healthy and happy!

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