Cat games to help with weight control

Are you concerned that your cat isn't keeping active, and might be putting on weight? Take a look at our guide to discover games to help keep her trim.

Excess weight can lead to serious health problems. Studies show that overweight cats are more likely to develop diabetes, arthritis, respiratory problems, hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) and non-allergic skin conditions.

But how do you know if your pet is overweight? Here are three simple ways to check (all of which are much easier than trying to get her on the scales).

Ribs - Gently run your hands along your cat’s rib cage. You should be able to easily feel her ribs. If you have to press to feel them, then she’s likely overweight.

Waistline - Looking at your cat from above, her body should become more slender from the belly to hind legs.

Tummy - A little ‘fat pouch’ is normal, but if it swings between her hind legs when she walks, it is a sign that she is overweight.

Getting your cat active

If your cat is showing signs of being overweight, the first step is to visit your vet for a check-up and accurate weight recording. They will help ensure you are feeding your cat the right amount and type of food.

Then it’s time to get her active. There are plenty of games to play with your cat to help her lose weight while having fun. Try lots of different games until you find a few she really loves. You can even make your own toys.

Laser pointers are a useful option for owners who prefer to not chase around with their cat. Other toys which mimic prey, such as sticks with feathers, mice and balls, are all great activity games for cats. Try an indoor climbing tree and scratching posts for variety too. Just keep her moving!

A cat’s instinct is to stalk prey for about 3-5 minutes. So when she starts to lose interest in playing, switch to a new game to keep her attention.
Do not give your cat treats every time she vocalises (meows). Not only does this increase her calorie intake, it also encourages her to be noisy by rewarding her behaviour.