She's 12. I don't overfeed her. I feed her healthy, even doing raw when I can. But she's indoors. She's not going to get much activity in there. How dangerous is it for a cat to be fat? She's not super obese or anything, but I've noticed her putting on a couple extra pounds in the last two years.
Is there a reason you feel like you can't just reduce her food intake? I use treat dispensing toys with my cat and he loves them, so that's an option for more activity as well as reducing intake.
Being overweight is just as bad for an older house cat as it it for any other animal!
Every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle. (Whitman)
My cats have a bit of a pouch. I don't think it is anything to be concerened about if your vet sees no issue.Have you ever considered building an outdoor cat run right off the house? You could put tree or wood boards in for your cat to walk on.Chasing bugs in the enclosure would be fun. I have a fenced yard,but an enclosure is ideal for a cat.
If staying indoors maybe a low calorie food or just some toys to get the kitty moving.My cats are about 8yo and still play if I get them going.A little fresh catnip woudln't hurt either!
I'm already feeding her the minimum amount of food. We live in an apartment, so letting her out is the only other option. It seems like every indoor cat is fat, especially the older they get. Well, maybe I'll feed her even less, but I don't want to starve her. Trust me, I'm already feeding her very little compared to most cat owners (though of course their cats are all fat too). lol
To be blunt, if she's gaining weight and does not have any underlying health issues, then she's eating too much for her activity level. If you want to keep the amount of food the same, she needs more physical activity to be healthy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
My indoor only cat is 11lbs, a neutered male, and 3yo. He is at an ideal weight for his age and build and has no dangling belly flap. He is fed twice a day - each meal is 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry food. He doesn't get a ton of exercise (and is restricted to one room due to inappropriate elimination issues), but he gets food from a toy occasionally, we have toys hanging from his cat tree, he has two scratching posts, and a couple shelves to climb on. If he starts to gain weight we reduce his food a bit, if he needs to gain some we bump up the ration a bit, just like with our dogs.
For interactive activities, we use a few teaser toys, a laser pointer, and Pi likes to fetch at times so we'll also throw his stuffies for him to chase if he's in the mood.
Letting your cat outside, especially when you live in a heavily populated area like an apartment complex, is *not* an option - it's dangerous for your cat and annoying for your neighbors.
I'm not a huge fan of their foods, but Purina has a well-illustrated body condition guide for cats that you may find helpful:
I have a huge fat cat myself, and two small skinny cats. I think some cats are just fat honestly, just like people. She is 12 years old and in good health. The big drawback for her is grooming, she has a long coat and can't reach very well, so I do have the mobile groomer come and bathe and do a "sanitary cut" around her butt every three months. I don't know that letting kitty out will make her thin, she'll probably just find a spot to lay still out there, just as indoors, and there are a lot of dangers for cats outside. They live longer lives as house cats, and the vet bills are 1million times cheaper.