Chubby cats, or "chonkers" as they're often called these days, are adorable, but that doesn't mean that they're necessarily healthy. Cats need to be at a healthy weight in order to live as long and as comfortably as possible. If your cat is carrying some extra pounds and you think there's no harm in it, consider whether you're willing to have your cat face these conditions.
As with humans, one of the biggest threats facing cats when they're overweight is heart disease. Heart disease tends to develop in cats due to a combination of inflammation, stress on the heart, and fatty deposits in the heart and arteries.
Heart disease is particularly problematic in cats because they often don't show any significant signs that they're in pain or struggling. Oftentimes the first symptoms a pet parent will notice when a cat has heart disease is simply that they're lethargic. However, it is possible for a heart attack to kill a cat, so this is a condition that should be avoided at all costs.
Another issue your cat may face is kidney disease. The risk of kidney disease rises when inflammation in the body is higher than it should be. This is a problem, as carrying excess fat automatically generates more inflammation in the entire body.
Kidney disease is much more of a threat to cats than the average human. That's because treatment options for kidney disease in cats aren't very good. There is no dialysis for cats, and kidney transplants are quite rare. Unfortunately, without these options, kidney disease will ultimately kill, and there's no way to reverse it once it's started.
Even if your cat doesn't experience these deadly diseases, they could still end up being in a lot more pain than an average cat.
Excess weight wears down on the cushioning in joints, which can make it much harder for cats to do the things they're so good at, like pouncing, leaping, and landing from tall heights. As a result, your cat may become lazier and less interested in physical activity, which will likely make their weight go up even more.
If your cat is overweight, they need the guidance of a vet to safely lose that weight. Simply cutting their diet can potentially harm them and cause fatty liver disease, which should be avoided at all costs. Talk to a vet office, such as Third Street Veterinary, and get your cat put on an exercise and weight loss plan that's safe for them.