After sterilisation, a cat tends to eat more, whereas its energy requirements diminish by 25%1.
The risk of weight gain is multiplied by 2 after sterilisation2.
If allowed to eat at will after sterilisation your cat’s weight can increase by over 20% after 6 months4.
About 70% of pet owners think they need to feed their cat until they stop eating3.
The health and well-being of your cat are related to maintenance of an ideal body weight.
1. Yuka Mitsuhashi, Amy J. Chamberlin, Karen E. Bigley and John E. Bauer/ Maintenance energy requirement determination of cats after spaying. British Journal of Nutrition (2011), 106, S135-S138
2. Patrick G. Nguyen, DVM, MS; Henri J. Dumon, DVM, MS; Brigitte S. Siliart, DVM, MS; Lucile J. Martin, DVM, Ph.D; Renaud Sergheraert; Vincent C. Biourge, DVM, PhD. Effects of dietary fat and energy on body wiehgt and composition after gonadectomy in cats. AJVR, Vol 65, No. 12, December 2004.
3. Courcier EA, et al. Prevalence and risk factors for feline obesity in a first opinion practice in Glasgow, Scotland. J Feline Med Surg 2010; 12: 746-753.
4. Alfreda Wei, Andrea J. Fascetti, Kyougmi Kim, Ada Lee, James L. Graham, Peter J. Havel, Jon J. Ramsey. Early Effects of Neutering on Energy Expenditure in Adult Male Cats. February 2014, Volume 9, Issue 2, e89557.
When a cat gains 200 g, it is like a man of 70 kg gaining 3.5 kg. When that same cat is more than 1.5 kg overweight, its weight has increased by 40%! At this stage, it is called «morbid» obesity as it is associated with health problems. This is what happens when a 70 kg individual approaches 100 kg.
The quantity of kibbles to be given each day should be carefully assessed. On average, a cat of 4 kg consumes the equivalent of 200 kcal per day, which represents around 50 g of kibble. However, all cats do not derive the same benefit from their diets: a standard ration may not be suitable for all individuals, it must be customised. In addition, if you base the ration on your cat’s actual weight and it is already overweight, your cat can become obese in a few months! It is therefore very important to calculate the ration based on its ideal weight.
Ask your veterinarian to estimate the amount of food to be given to your cat to cover its new needs. This ration amount will be reviewed (and possibly corrected) according to changes in your cat’s weight and body condition. A monthly review is recommended. Every day, carefully measure the ration with a measuring cup, or better, weigh the kibbles on a kitchen scale to avoid any risk of error. Over the long term, a few extra grams of kibbles each day weigh heavily in the calorie balance.
*Amount based on the feeding guidelines for our Veterinary HPM Neutered Range for Adult cat. Please refer to our feeding recommendations available on our product pages or product packaging.
Several small meals per 24 hours. Nothing prevents you from splitting the ration of your cat into several smaller amounts over the course of the day to respect the “grazing” behaviour of the cat. A cat often likes to spread its consumption by taking several small meals per 24 hours. Splitting the distribution of the food also seems to encourage the physical activity of the cat and helps to stabilise its weight.
Do not confuse a request for contact or attention («will you play with me?») from your cat with a request for food. A cat who understands that its owner is ready to feed it whenever it rubs against their legs quickly learns to take advantage of the situation… For the cat to remain at its ideal weight throughout its life, it is necessary that the whole family plays the game. It can be a good idea if only one person is in charge of feeding the animal.
Few owners regularly weigh their cat and they are unaware that their pet is gaining weight. Closely monitor the evolution of your cat's weight after sterilisation, weigh it at least twice a month. It is always easier to rectify the situation by reacting early.
The weighing must always be on the same scale: Weigh yourself holding the cat in your arms, then alone, and calculate the difference. However, it is necessary to have a very sensitive balance, capable of measuring a variation of ± 100 g. If necessary, please ask your vet if you can come regularly to weigh your cat at the clinic.
Do not hesitate to encourage them to play with you, in small sequences of 2-3 minutes repeated over the course of the day. There are a lot of toys available to encourage activity of cats, generally relying on their hunting instinct to interest them. When you’re not there, you can also encourage your cat to expend energy by placing a fraction of its daily ration in a toy that the cat must roll to release the kibbles.
By «working» to eat, it will not be bored and above all it will expend some calories while trying to extract the kibbles !
After sterilisation the energy requirement is reduced by more than 20%1. The option of simply reducing the usual ration you give your cat is to be avoided: it may feel very frustrated at being on a severely reduced ration and will soon be begging for more food. In addition, a significant dietary restriction may also expose the cat to nutritional deficiencies. It must receive all nutritional components essential to its health in sufficient quantity.
Better to give your cat a food adapted to its new needs, just after sterilisation. You can even make the transition a few days before the operation, to avoid stress for your cat due to a change in diet during recovery. A food specially formulated for neutered cats brings fewer calories while allowing to maintain a sufficient ration volume. To lower the energy concentration, this type of food generally contains less fat than a conventional maintenance food.