HSN Blog

New Year, New Eloise

As millions of people begin their 2019 resolutions, 21.94 lb. Eloise will start her weight loss journey here at Humane Society Naples.

The 10-year-old tabby was surrendered to our no-kill shelter after her elderly owner could no longer care for her. At almost 22 lbs., she is nearly two times the size of your average housecat. Though Eloise is adorable, it’s not cute for cats to be so overweight. Excess weight can lead to a slew of serious health problems for animals, and pet obesity is a big issue in the US.

When Eloise came in, she had matted fur so bad appeared to be causing her pain, likely because she’s too big to groom herself properly. Much of Eloise’s fur had to be shaved off. Despite her physical struggles, her sweet nature is shining through.

The HSN vet staff believed that with some time in a foster home, where her diet could be carefully monitored, Eloise could be a happy, healthy cat. Gradual weight loss is key, but the time and patience are worth it! You can follow her weight loss journey on Instagram where we will share her progress in hopes to shine a light on feline obesity.

Extra pounds come with health complications

Managing your pet’s weight is an important part of overall health. Extra pounds can cause pets to have more serious health issues, like:

  • high blood pressure
  • increased risk of cancer
  • respiratory disease
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • osteoarthritis
  • decreased life expectancy

So how do you know if your pet is too fat?

It’s pretty simple! If you feel your pet’s rib cage and there is a small layer of fat over their ribs, but you can still easily feel their ribs, they’re a healthy weight. If you feel too much fat and have to press hard to feel their ribs, they’re overweight.

If you think your cat (or dog) is a bit on the tubby side, contact your veterinarian. They’ll weigh your pet and determine how much they need to lose to achieve their ideal weight. Vets also will let you know how many calories your pet should be eating per day. Many people often go by what the packaging on pet foods say, but those instructions are often generalizations and don’t accurately reflect what your individual pet may need. Your veterinarian can also help you select the right food. Just like humans, exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight.

Exercise in cats

Enrichment toys and puzzle feeders are a great way to achieve a healthy body weight. By hunting and playing for their food, they burn calories for every piece of kibble.

And did you know you can leash train your cat? It’s not as hard as you think with the right equipment. Yes, you can walk your cat to burn off calories! It does take time and patience, and if you don’t have either, a few minutes with their favorite toy is sure to help your cat move.

But what about the sad, pleading eyes?

We’ve all seen the sad eyes – that look you get when the food bowl is empty and your pet is pleading with you for more food. A few tricks include taking their meals and dividing the kibble into four or six smaller meals. Also, make sure your pet’s water dish is always full.

It can take up to six months to see a difference after making changes in your pet’s food and exercise routines. If your pet is still on the plumper side, you may want to visit your veterinarian or contact our HSN Veterinary Clinic at 239-643-2143 to discuss other options.