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Animal Scene - 2021-09-01

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FELINE GOOD

Food is our ally. It nourishes our most precious feline companions and gives them energy. To give them too much of a good thing is detrimental, wasteful, and uncreative. There is an appropriate diet for every life stage of our cat. It is necessary to achieve balance, to make sure the calories they take in do not greatly exceed the calories they expend. Cats that only have eating as an activity are not happy cats. The sad reality is obese cats have a poor quality of life. 01 WALK THE TALK Before you give in and reach for a treat or replenish their bowl for a second or third serving, know that food is only one of the many ways we can spoil our cats. Let them work for these tasty treats, let them follow you around the house before giving in. 02 THINK LONG TERM It takes some serious self-control to keep their optimal weight. Let’s remind ourselves that our long-term goal is the gift of good health instead of the short-term aim of just pleasing and spoiling them. 03 MONITOR REGULARLY Monitoring a cat’s weight will also help in determining if something is wrong as sudden weight loss may be a sign of an underlying medical problem. 04 PRACTICE SELF-CONTROL Cats cannot discipline themselves to watch their food intake; it is all up to us. Putting bowls away and washing them after each meal will signal an end to their mealtime, so that they do not go back and forth letting you know their bowl is empty. 05 SET ASIDE TIME FOR FUN Know that you can be creative when showing your love. We can give them some catnip, initiate play and give them our undivided attention. You’ll be surprised that they might just be bored and not really hungry. 06 PROVIDE AN INTERESTING ENVIRONMENT Environmental enrichment is as valuable as healthy meals. Keep them entertained by installing perches and super highways that get their body moving and food digested. Having them chase a laser pointer or toy mouse will provide mental stimulation. Apart from bellies being full, play increases their mojo and strengthens our bond with them – that is how they become generally happier cats. 07 SPEND QUALITY TIME TOGETHER Giving gentle pats and chilling with them are enjoyable to both humans and cats, not to mention 100% caloriefree and fat-free.

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