LAS VEGAS, April 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Las Vegas veterinarian wants to warn cat owners about the dangers of feline obesity and help them make better dietary and nutritional choices for their animals. According to Dr. Terri Koppe of All About Cats Veterinary Hospital, obesity among cats has reached epidemic proportions and can cause serious health problems if left untreated. "We want to educate pet owners on proper food selection, feeding habits, feline nutrition and wellness care," says Dr. Koppe. "A combination of sound home dietary practices and regular veterinary evaluations can definitely help owners combat feline obesity."
The cat veterinarian notes that obesity can lead to joint problems, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and fatty infiltration of the liver.
Many cats are fed unlimited amounts of dry food. This practice allows the cat to eat any time day or night, opening the door to uncontrolled calorie consumption. While some cats can still maintain a slim waistline, most cats will gain too much weight from this type of feeding.
Dr. Koppe recommends that owners transition their cats to feeding only at specified mealtimes. She also urges cat owners to limit treats and table scraps which often include excessive calories, fat, salt, and sugar. "The transition to mealtime feeding can be tricky and dangerous for stubborn cats who reject the plan and stop eating altogether, and is best done with advice and supervision from an experienced cat vet," says Dr. Koppe.
The veterinarian's focus on feline dietary, nutritional and other health challenges gives it a strong foundation for treating obese cats and advising their owners. Dr. Koppe and the clinic's other veterinarians, Dr. Cathy Berquist and Dr. Alissa McCormick, offer nutritional counseling to help owners select foods with the right balance of nutrients and make sure their cats receive the right daily amounts.
They point to a recent patient brought in by a rescue group involving a 34-pound cat whose ideal weight was closer to 12 pounds. "We placed 'MoJo' on a mild exercise regimen first," explains Dr. Koppe, "and have gradually reduced his calorie intake as reducing his food intake too quickly would have proven a great a shock to his body. 'MoJo' has lost several pounds already, is able to move around more comfortably, and the staff member who adopted him hopes to have him at his target weight within a year's time."
To avoid allowing their cats to reach such proportions in the first place, however, Dr. Koppe stresses the need for regular wellness evaluations, weighing and dietary counseling at a veterinary hospital. "We would love to see wellness, rather than disease treatment, become the priority for Las Vegas cat owners," she says.
CONTACT: All About Cats Veterinary Hospital 888-667-5235Source: AllAbout Cats Veterinary Hospital