Your cat’s weight loss program could be fatal. If you are helping an obese cat lose weight, you need to be very careful and monitor the progress every step of the way. Cats are not like other animals. Although crash diets aren’t good for any species, two legged or four legged, your cat is particularly susceptible to dietary changes and weight loss because their liver can’t process fat. If your cat loses weight too quickly, he could end up with a common (but potentially fatal) disease called hepatic lipidosis; or as it is more commonly known, Fatty Liver disease. When you’re helping your cat lose weight, make sure you avoid this fatal mistake.

Fatty Liver disease in Cats
If your cat loses too much weight too fast, it could result in Fatty Liver disease.

Helping a cat lose weight

An obese cat can be a health risk, so you absolutely need to help your cat lose the pounds and get back to a healthy weight. But when you put your cat on a new diet, it needs to be meticulously monitored to make sure your cat is still getting the appropriate amount of calories per day, and that they aren’t losing weight too quickly. Cutting back on the calories and allowing your cat to lose weight too quickly can be a fatal mistake. Before you start your cat on a diet, talk to a nutritionist about the best way forward.

Fatty liver disease

A cat’s natural diet is made up of almost 100% protein. That means that their biological makeup isn’t equipped to burn fat the way that our system is, or the way that dogs and other animals can burn fat. Unfortunately, if you have a fat cat, they’re going to need to burn fat to lose weight. But if you allow your cat to lose weight too fast, the liver will get overwhelmed and overloaded trying to burn too much fat too fast, resulting in Fatty Liver disease. If your cat stops eating, even if it’s only for a few days, take them to the vet immediately.

Treating fatty liver

Helping cat lose weight
Help you cat lose weight safely by consulting a pet nutritionist before starting a diet.

Fatty liver disease isn’t fun to treat. It takes a long time, a lot of patience, and possibly a stay in the hospital. In serious cases, the cat will need a feeding tube to ensure that he gets food and water to help with recovery. If caught early, most cats will survive, and if you keep them at a healthy weight and on an appropriate diet after that, fatty liver is unlikely to reoccur.

Cat nutritional consultation

To make sure that your cat gets the calories it needs every day while losing weight at a slow and steady pace, consult a nutritionist. Once you have the new diet in place, make sure that your cat is actually eating it. Dietary changes can be hard for a cat. Taking away all those treats that made him fat in the first place may cause a bit of stress. So be sure to monitor your cat’s behavior and their food and water intake until they’ve gotten used to their new diet.