"Doctor, Sheinkin does not feel well, I think he has heart disease." I looked at the nice woman standing in front of me in the examining room and the huge red cat that was lying on the table, gurgling and licking with obvious satisfaction. I had three questions:
Why does she think that Sheinkin has heart disease, how the hell has Sheinkin reached such a size and why do they call Sheinkin Sheinkin? After the client explained to me that she called her cat Shenkin because she found him on Sheinkin Street in Tel Aviv, eight years ago, when both were younger and more beautiful, she went on to describe a worrying medical situation.
Recently the cat has difficulty getting up, sometimes salting like a dog, limping from time to time and looking much less alert and happy. I held the stethoscope to Sheinkin's chest, and after I persuaded him to stop gurgling, I barely managed to hear his poor heart pumping through a huge layer of fat. There was no evidence of heart disease to be heard. I finished checking Sheinkin, took a blood test for him, but at this point I was pretty sure I knew what was bothering him.
Sheinkin suffered from one of the most common diseases among cats. The disease is called obesity and in plain language, obesity. He was so fat that the leg muscles could not easily carry his weight, and hence the difficulty of standing up and limping. Fat tissue is hard to get rid of excess heat and so on hot days it is moistened to help cool down. He was tired because his heart had worked much harder than he would have tried if he had pumped blood to a mass appropriate to his size. Fat cats are at risk for heart disease, arthritis, skin diseases, reproductive problems, diabetes, and more.
I know what the readers of this article who know me personally say to themselves. What is he preaching to us about our fat cat that doctor? He himself is not exactly thin. There is something about it, and I am in favor of a "handsome, handsome, fulfilling," no less than anyone else. But in this case if a person consciously decides to eat more than his body needs and not spend the calories accordingly, it is his or her problem. Our pets, for the most part, depend only on us and being domesticated animals, do not have the privilege of deciding on a diet. It is our responsibility to provide them with living conditions that will protect them from disease. And obesity is, as mentioned, disease.
"On paper" the treatment of obesity is simple. Not only for cats but also for dogs, humans and other creatures. We manage an energy bank. As long as we spend what we put in our weight does not change. Once we eat more calories than the body needs, the surplus builds up in fat deposits. In cats, these reservoirs are located under the skin in the abdomen and thorax. Even inside the abdominal cavity are fatty deposits that weigh on internal organs such as the heart, kidneys and digestive system. To get rid of excess fat you have to either eat fewer calories, or do more exercise or both. Increasing physical activity in cats is not realistic. A cat is not a dog and can not be run in the park or thrown a frisbee. Conversely, you can and should limit the amount of calories.
Did you notice that I did not write to limit the amount of food, but the amount of calories? This is a very important distinction. True, if you reduce the amount of food, the amount of calories decreases in the same ratio. So it seems like an obvious solution. However, food does not only provide calories. It also contains essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Of all these we do not want to reduce. We want a handsome cat but not sick! In addition, inside the cat's stomach there are pressure sensors. When the stomach is full, the wall stretches and the pressure sensors are activated. These move the brain to a place called the center of satiety, and the cat feels full of satiety. If we reduce the amount of calories by reducing the amount of food, the cat will feel very hungry and miserable.
The right way to have a diet regime in obese cats is to move the cat to calorie-reduced food. Such foods have fewer calories per unit of volume than regular foods, and contain vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients in an adequate amount. The cat can feel full without getting too many calories.
If you have identified that your cat is obese and you have decided to take care, there are several rules to ensure success:
1. It is important to do a weight loss program under veterinary supervision! Reducing too fast a weight in cats can be dangerous and cause serious damage to the liver. Reduced calorie foods should be used by a reliable company that has veterinary counseling services. The quantity of food should be determined according to the professional guidelines of the food company listed on the packaging or according to the website.
2. Consider the cat at the beginning of the diet and every two weeks. Many veterinary clinics have electronic weight to consider for cats. If not, use a normal person weight. Consider yourself with the cat on your hands and without it and think the difference. If there is no weight reduction, reduce the amount of food a bit.
3. The cat must not eat anything but his diet food. If the cat is spinning outside, it will be very difficult to succeed because he may eat food outside when you do not see.
4. Many cats sneeze throughout the day so they can be fed and filled every time it runs out. If the cat is not fat there is no problem with it. But obese cats on a diet will eat all the food in one meal and suffer all day long. Therefore, it is recommended to divide the calculated amount into 5-10 small portions a day. Some cats are hungry enough to swallow the food quickly and enthusiastically, and often vomit right after me. The flow rate can be reduced by inserting 2-3 pellets or in the plate with the food.
5. When you reach your target weight, you should continue with low-calorie foods in a measured amount throughout your life.
She was transferred to a low-calorie diet with special diet food for cats and under the supervision and cooperation of the entire family, lost four kilograms in four months, and returned to being a handsome cat, quick and alert, and it was not easy, But the family's insistence on the pressure on them that Shenkin apparently saved his life.