We use cookies to help us improve website user experience. By continuing to use this site or closing this panel, you agree to our use of cookies. See our cookie policy

Our blog

The Secret Life of Pets: Chloe loves her food! How can you keep your cat’s waistline trim?

The Secret Life of Pets: Chloe loves her food! How can you keep your cat’s waistline trim?
This article contains:

If you think you know what your pet gets up to when you’re not around, the new comedy The Secret Life of Pets, which is in cinemas now, may make you think differently.

Set in Manhattan we see how Max, a pampered Terrier, and his friends fill their hours with fun and adventure while their owners’ backs are turned.

One friend is Chloe, a rather, shall we say, ‘tubby’ cat who, like many cats, takes any opportunity to have a good feed!

It can be tricky controlling your cat’s weight, especially when they roam outdoors and can access food, but you can certainly take steps to make sure your cat doesn’t end up with a few excess pounds, and reduce their risk of developing liver disease, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure or skin problems – all conditions that can be associated with obesity.

Petplan are delighted to be a brand partner for the film and share our top six tips for keeping your cat fighting fit…

1. Is my cat overweight?

It can be difficult to determine whether your cat is overweight, particularly in long-haired breeds. Happily, Petplan has a guide for body-scoring your cat so you can check.

2. Talk to your vet

It’s important to rule out any underlying health problems that could be causing weight-gain. Consult with your vet, and if your cat gets the all clear – ask your vet what your cat’s ideal weight should be.

3. Cut out the treats!

The odd treat can seem like a small thing, but a couple of treats a day adds up. A piece of cheese can be the equivalent of a whole meal for your cat in terms of the amount of calories and can really add up! Reward your cat with your attention instead, such as their favourite game.

4. Try a lighter formula diet & feed little and often

Most pet food brands offer a ‘light’ formula for overweight cats or those prone to putting on weight. These diets have fewer calories. Follow the recommended daily amount by measuring out the amount on kitchen scales, or most pet food brands have feeding cups available which makes measuring your cat’s daily amount much easier.

5. Feed little and often

Try splitting your cat’s portions into smaller but more frequent meals – but still ensure you only feed their daily recommended amount. If you have more than one cat, feed them separately in different rooms.

6. Get kitty active!

If your cat would rather lounge around the house than exert themselves in any way, then making exercise fun is the best way to encourage them to get active.

Set up a daily play session with them – play ball or try cat feeder dispenser toys which make your cat work to unlock a treat. Only use their usual food (from their daily allowance) and not high calorific treats. Investing in climbing towers or shelves, whilst alternatives such as putting their feeding bowl at the top of a flight of stairs or at heights, can encourage them to move and jump.

If your feline friend is an indoor cat then consider letting them out into a securely fenced-off garden or an outside playpen. House cats can be prone to lethargy and laziness, and fresh air and new stimulation can often be the cure for this.

Does your cat love their food like Chloe? Has your pet overcome obesity? Let us know your tips in the comments below…..

Back to top
Robert Harvey
It is not easy to control a cat's food intake. We live in a suburban setting where neighbours have confessed to feeding ours from time-to-time. We also have a visitor who sometimes pops in at around midnight to top up from our cat's food bowl. My cousin who lives in a rural setting told us that when she tried to restrict her cat's eating he took to disappearing for an hour or so in the afternoon only to come back smalling of fish!
Eric Gilroy
A cat's life is quite simple - hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom sleep. The first three stimulate a healthy appetite which enables the cat to eat as much as he needs, and then sleep while his body processes the food. Also, the food must be bio appropriate i.e. Just meat - lots of raw meat and bones. Cats teeth and digestion are designed to handle just meat protein - not dry carbohydrate biscuits, fruit or cereals. Surprisingly, cats in the wild do not cook their food, and can cope with prey that has been dead for days. My Bengal has had the same raw meat diet since he was weaned, and he thrives on it.. Also, cats in the wild do not eat 'kitten food', just the same as all the other cats. Another benefit of a raw meat diet is that they get all of their water in the meat, and chewing chunks of meat cleans their teeth. From what I've read, cats fed on a natural diet regulate their weight much better than dry feeders.
Karen Brighton
I must be extremely lucky with all the cats I have ever had...about 14 in all. I have never had an overweight cat, and they are checked every six months at by our vet. There is a ready supply of dry food and, as a treat, they each get a teaspoon of wet food mid morning and mid afternoon, and they can tell the time!!! I now have two cats. One cat is about 15/16 years old and the younger one is about two years old. As with all my cats they are 'rescue cats' hence not having an accurate age for them.I am not keen on the wet food as it tends to stick to their teeth whereas dry food helps to clean their teeth. It is also cleaner, doesn't attract flies and other bugs, and if I am out for the day I don't need to worry about them wanting food. It's also easier on anyone who needs to look after them for a few days while I am away.
Joyce Milton
My 11 year old rescue cat has Iams, but supplements it with extras. One day he brought in a mouse, and devoured it in three bites! Later the same day he brought another, of which he left a small piece of liver. Next day it was a young, but feathered, starling. The remains of that were both feet, and a little liver. He even ate all but five feathers! At least he must get exercise to counteract the extras! He's fussy about the dry food, won't eat the cheap stuff, and will eat only the jelly of wet food.
I think that the best way to keep your cat healthy and happy is to give it food that is rich in nutrients (like minerals, vitamins, etc) and the same goes for treats. I found this company that makes cat treats with 80% meat in them, they are hypoallergenic and air-dried - the perfect combination! It's called the Innocent Cat and they also have dogs line (The Innocent Hound). This is their website: http://www.theinnocenthound.co.uk/ . I totally recommend them!

Look no further

We are pet specialists and have an unrivaled knowledge of pet health and unlike many other insurers. That's why we've designed our policies to cover as many conditions as possible, and are able to pay 97% of all the claims we receive.