Indoor Cat That’s Bored And Fat? Here’s What You Can Do About That

Obesity is on the rise. In cats that is. Especially for indoor cats. While you might think that your plump pet is living a comfortable, pampered life provided by you, the adoring owner, the truth is not so rosy. Over 58% of cats in the United States are considered to be overweight or obese. Those extra pounds are accompanied by a myriad of health problems, diminished quality of life and a shorter life span. But you are, indeed, an adoring owner. So, what can you do to help your fat cat?

Unlike outdoor cats, who have the world to explore, indoor cats can easily get bored. They eat and lie around, then eat and lie around, then . . . you get the picture. This is where you, the loving cat caregiver, can make all the difference. It's time to make some changes to your cat's feeding and activities.

Regulate Feeding

Just like humans, fat cats overeat. Since you're the one that provides the food, you can take care of this problem. Here are some eating guidelines for a healthier feline.

  • Stop free feeding. What would you do if a bowl of yummy food was left out for you? Nibble and graze all day right? Well, that's what your cat is doing, and it's not good for them. Instead of leaving a full bowl, give your cat several small meals throughout the day. If you are unable to do this because of work or other reasons, consider purchasing a feeder with a timer that releases the food at set intervals.
  • Avoid human food. While it may seem okay to feed a cat human foods like raw meat, bones, fat, fish and milk, these foods can actually harm your pet. Cat food is made for the health needs and digestive systems of your cat, so stick to that.
  • Limit the treats. This is one of the first things your doctor would tell you if you are trying to lose weight. It applies to your cat as well. There are a lot of cat treats on the market. Be thoughtful when purchasing them and dole them out sparingly.

Up the Activity

Ah, exercise, the enduring rule of weight loss. To stay healthy, your cat needs it as much as you do. The key here is that you have to provide opportunities for your cat to exercise. Lucky for you, don't have to take your cat for a run. For an indoor cat, play equals exercise. Here are some simple suggestions for helping your cat get exercise--no gym needed.

  • Get out the toys and play.  Even indoor cats are natural predators. When you play with your cat, focus on that attribute. Roll a small ball (ping pong balls are great) and let them chase it. Drag a string along the ground and let them pounce. Move a laser pointer around on the floor for them to run after. Whatever toys you choose, move them in the way that a bird, bug or rodent might move to entice your cats predatory nature.
  • Let your cat explore. Get out a couple of boxes, plastic bins or paper bags and let your cat enjoy exploring them. They will get exercise as they go in and out and jump on and off of them.
  • Go for a walk. Admittedly it's unusual to see a cat on a leash. However, this option opens up a new world for exploration. The goal here is not to make it around the block, but to create a new venue for exploring. You might not even leave your own yard. As long as kitty is moving, she's getting exercise.

Cats tend to have a short attention span. They will generally stay interested in one toy or activity for 3 to 5 minutes. Switch up the toys and activities to keep the movement going. Exercising with your cat doesn't need to take over your life. Ten to fifteen minutes at least two times a day is a good goal. Of course, more often isn't going to hurt.

A fat cat is not a happy, healthy cat. But you, adoring owner, can help your cat be both by making these simple changes. For more information on helping your cat get to a healthy weight, contact a veterinarian or visit a site like