All cats have a small deposit of fat on their stomach areas called a fat pad. Usually this is so small as to be unnoticeable, and it does not create a problem for the cat. However, with some animals the fat pad can expand out of control due to diet, lack of exercise or both. If the condition becomes too severe, a cat can have a tummy tuck just like a human. However, there are other options to investigate before taking this extreme route.
Monitor your cat's food intake. If your cat gets "free food," meaning he always has food available to him in his bowl, you may need to establish regular meal times. Work with your vet to determine the amount of food that your cat should be eating each day and how often it should be fed. In many cases, a diet cat food can help cut calories and burn up the fat pad.
Cut out the treats. Cats, like people, gain weight differently. Some cats can eat treats all day long and never show any noticeable fat pad. Others will develop a large fat pad and even develop a beanbag shape over time.
Exercise your cat daily. If your cat is largely sedentary, she may need some tempting. Dangle or drag different toys before her and do not give up if at first she exhibits no interest whatsoever. Once you find something that will get her moving, stick with it.
Give your cat a daily vitamin. If you are limiting your cat's food intake or if he exists solely on packaged food, he may not be getting all of the necessary vitamins. His fat pad could be partially due to malnutrition if he is eating excessively to ingest additional nutrients. A daily vitamin prescribed by your vet can help with this issue.
Some stomach fat (also called "spay sway") is typical in cats who have been spayed, and many male cats have this "pooch" as well. Consult your vet to make sure that nothing more serious is wrong before you start trying to help your kitty work off that extra belly.
Tips and warnings
- Some stomach fat (also called "spay sway") is typical in cats who have been spayed, and many male cats have this "pooch" as well. Consult your vet to make sure that nothing more serious is wrong before you start trying to help your kitty work off that extra belly.