Cat Metabolism: How it Affects Your Feline Friend
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Metabolism refers to the complex chemical processes in the body that break down food (especially protein, carbohydrates
Metabolism Fluctuates With Age
An understanding of cat metabolism and how it is impacted by life stages, food, exercise
During their first year, kittens grow a lot. Cat metabolism is very high during the kitten phase, and a complete and balanced kitten food such as Hill's™ Science Diet™ Kitten Healthy
Once your cat is fully grown (approximately one year) she can be slowly transitioned to an adult formula food. Since it is much easier to prevent obesity than to reverse it, yearly veterinary examinations and weight assessments are important. Your vet will make suggestions if any meal plan changes are needed. Your cat's vet can recommend food based on her age and the American Animal Hospital Association's Body Condition Scoring, a numerical assessment that helps you to visual classify your cat as underweight, overweight or normal/ideal.
Particular care and attention
As cats enter their senior years, their metabolic rate and energy requirements once again increase. At this stage,
Metabolism's Tie to Overall Health and Weight
Professional nutritional guidance and an awareness of your cat's metabolism speed are
Ideally, providing your cat with an appropriate amount of calories and exercise will help to ensure that she maintains
It is very important to seek professional veterinary advice before initiating a weight loss program for your cat. Dramatic and rapid weight loss in cats can result in
Cats who have had unsuccessful weight-loss efforts on reduced calorie foods are good candidates for another approach. Hill's™ Prescription Diet™ Metabolic Feline naturally works with your pet's unique
Fluctuations in Weight and How They Relate to Metabolism
It has already been established that cats with a generally slower metabolic rate will burn fewer calories and store more fat than cats with a faster metabolism. There are several medical problems that impact your cat's metabolism and result in weight loss or weight gain. A sudden change in weight is often what reveals an issue by
- Hyperthyroidism results in an increased metabolic state, with cats losing weight despite normal or often increased appetites.
- Diabetes can cause rapid weight loss and blood sugar imbalances and is more common in overweight cats, writes the Cornell Feline Health Center.
- Cancer cachexia is a common and complex result of cancer that causes a cat to lose fat and muscle at equal rates, explains PetCoach. Since cancer can often have a gradual onset, this disturbance in a cat's metabolism can serve as the first warning sign of a problem.
Staying in tune with your cat's metabolism is an intricate process that is important for cat parents as your cat's weight serves as a gauge of wellness. Bring your cat to the vet for frequent checkups as she ages and keep a close eye on her appetite.
Mindy Cohan is a veterinarian in the Philadelphia area and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She has a rescue dog named Jem. Mindy enjoys hiking with Jem while listening to podcasts about the American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln.