Has your cat’s weight crept up over the years? For some of our feline friends, they’re happy enough leading a rather sedentary life. But without exercise and a few too many treats, the weight can easily pile on.

However, a podgy kitty can be a cause for concern. Overweight cats are more prone to health issues later in life, and it can even shorten their life span. So it’s always important to keep their weight under control. To ensure you spend a long, healthy and happy life with your favorite moggy, here’s how to help your cat shed a few pounds.

Have a plan

Your best first step is to talk with your vet to discuss a weight loss plan for your cat. Your vet will be able to assess your cat’s starting point and give you a goal to work towards. They’ll have the best tips around weight loss diets and how much to feed, as well as new habits you may need to introduce, and old ones to avoid.

Regular playtimes

Movement is the key to helping your cat lose weight. And most kitties love a good play session with their favorite humans. Introduce a new routine where you play with your cat for 30 minutes each day. Grab the laser pointer or a wand to get your cat moving their body. If 30 minutes in one go is too much for your cat, you can break this up into 10-minute sessions throughout the day.

Cut out the treats

Many of us can’t help but shower our pets with love and a tasty morsel or two. But the extra calories in those sneaky bites of chicken or cheese all add up in the long run. We know it’s tough, but try to cut back completely on giving your cat any treats or table scraps. Instead, show your cat how much you love them with a bonding session through play.

Make your cat work for their food

Hide your cat’s meals around the home so they have to track it down first. This satisfies your cat’s natural instinct to hunt, and it’ll help them burn a few extra calories too. You could also introduce a treat toy that requires your cat to put in a little effort to access their food. There are plenty of shop-bought treat toys and dispensers online, or you could make one yourself from a toilet roll tube. Simply close over one end, pop in a few pieces of food and close over the other.

Make an obstacle course

Cats are agile creatures and enjoy testing their limits. If you’re handy with the tool box, you could add some strategically placed cat shelves along a wall in your home. Add in some climbing towers and ramps to encourage your cat into some low-intensity exercise. If they need some initial encouragement, place a few treats along the course.

If you want peace of mind for your moggy when they’re unwell, why not join our members club. The Emergency Vet Protect Club is a low-cost alternative to pet insurance, giving you up to $3000 in emergency medical funds when you need it most. As a member, you’ll also get access to our handy app, giving you 24-hour support from qualified vets. Download the app for free today.