We’re committed to keeping clients and staff safe during COVID-19 with NEW admittance and check-out processes. Learn more.

VCA Big Pet Project Cat

Steps to a Healthy Cat Weight

The VCA Big Pet Project can help you achieve and maintain your cat's ideal weight.

Quick reminders to keep your cat at a healthy weight

VCA Big Pet Project Times icon
Keep a close eye at feeding times

Be sure to follow your veterinarian's personalized nutrition plan!

VCA Big Pet Project Tips icon
Don't overtreat

Many cats will replace food for affection. If your cat begs for a treat, try a belly rub instead!

VCA Big Pet Project Ideas icon
Keep your cat active!

Play with your cat for at least 10 minutes twice a day. You can even turn mealtime into a game by hiding your cat's food bowl!

VCA Big Pet Project Tools icon
Monitor your cat's weight

Keep a record of your cat's progress, and have regular weigh-ins with your veterinarian.

Nutrition Tips for Dieting Cats
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon Ask your veterinarian for a diet plan geared towards your cat’s specific needs and state of health. Reduced calorie foods and foods that are specially designed to speed up your cat’s metabolism are great menu options for an overweight cat.
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon Cat food labels can be confusing. Your veterinarian can help you decipher the information and choose food based on ingredient quality and the right balance of nutrients for your cat’s stage of life.
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon It’s not about simply feeding your cat less of the same food-the nutritional content may not be adequate.
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon Ask your veterinarian how many calories you should feed your cat each day, and then measure portions to match.
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon Always make sure your cat has water-sometimes a drink can make them forget they were hungry.
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon Replace high calorie treats with low calorie options like diet treats. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake, and food should be reduced accordingly.
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon Weight loss is sometimes easier with small meals spread out during the day instead of one big one.
VCA Big Pet Project Overweight Cat Icon Break treats into smaller pieces. Your cat will enjoy the reward regardless of size. Or better still, replace treats with affection-if your cat begs for a treat try a belly rub instead.

Exercise Tips for Overweight Cats

Before you change your cat’s exercise routine for weight loss ask your veterinarian for a safe regimen that’s appropriate for your cat’s weight.

VCA Big Pet Project Cat Playing
Tip #1
Playing with your cat just 15-20 minutes a day can make a difference. Keep it interesting by mixing it up…include laser pointers, feather toys, paper bags or boxes-anything that gets him/her active.
VCA Big Pet Project Cat Walking to Bowl
Tip #2
Make your cat walk to his/her food bowl by keeping the bowl away from favorite snoozing spots.
VCA Big Pet Project Cat on Cat Tree
Tip #3
Give your cat at least one or two elevated areas to climb onto to keep his/her muscles toned. Carpeted cat towers are ideal. Running up/down stairs with them gets you some exercise too!
VCA Big Pet Project Cat Walking
Tip #4
With the proper training, cats can be enticed to walk outdoors with a harness (not collar) and leash-but don’t expect them to run along like dogs.

Obesity in Cats

VCA Big Pet Project 3 Overweight Cats

Today's cat population is mirroring the weight issues of the human population-and the health risks that go along with it.

Our cats are packing on the pounds and it's not cute. 45% of cat owners don't realize their cat is actually overweight and don't understand the risks that extra weight poses to their pet. In reality, a cat's weight impacts their overall health, longevity and quality of life.

But there's great news:
Overweight or obese cats that return to their normal weight may once again enjoy lively activities and could even experience the reversal of some weight-related health conditions.

What can you do about your cat’s weight?


With help from your VCA veterinarian, you can prevent your cat from becoming overweight or obese, and if it’s a little too late for that, your cat’s added weight can be reduced. Before starting your cat on a diet or exercise program, consult your VCA veterinarian for a proper diagnosis, and to get the right diet for his/her age, body condition and general state of health.

Facts About Cat Obesity
Loading... Please wait