ORLANDO, Fla. — These reader questions were answered by experts attending the North American Veterinary Conference here Jan.14-18.
Question: We adopted a kitten from a shelter, and at only 7 months she already weighs 14 pounds. We feed her a half a can of canned food each morning and have dry food available all the time. Sparky even sleeps near the food bowl, and eats often. I believe she must have gone hungry before she came to us. To cut calories, I have switched to adult dry food. Our other cat is 13 and is a healthy weight. How can we help Sparky lose weight? — D.H., Las Vegas
Answer: Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the nonprofit cat advocacy CATalyst Council, says, "It's great you're concerned about your cat's weight, as this is a critical issue. It sounds like Sparky may be obese, which can lead to health problems. See your veterinarian to insure Sparky is healthy and also to devise a (weight-loss) plan."