By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 27, 2015 at 2:30 PM Photography:

Welcome to OnMeowaukee Cat Week, a meowsome bunch of articles, photos, videos and an Instagram contest celebrating all aspects of Milwaukee cats. Sponsored by Bark N' Scratch Outpost, these seven days are dedicated to those creatures with nine lives who make our lives more paw-sitive.

This week, we visited with The Cat Doctor in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. One of the health issues she says she is seeing with more regularity is obesity among cats, particularly those who are kept as indoor cats. Since obesity can lead to a variety of health issues, including heart disease and diabetes, it pays to make efforts to bring your cat’s weight into its proper range.

Here are five tips from The Cat Doctor, Kathryn Christensen, to help your cat lose those extra pounds.

1. Watch how much your cat eats: "Overfeeding is a common problem. Part of the issue is that people follow the overly generous recommendations of the manufacturers, which is written on the bags. Instead, pay attention to calories; an overweight 16 pound cat should be fed enough calories for the 9 pound cat you want him or her to be."

2. Eliminate free-feeding: "Filling bowls up and thinking that cats self-regulate is often a mistake; try regular feeding times, twice a day with your cat."

3. Try switching to canned food: "Dry food has more calories than wet food; but one cup of canned food is 90 percent water."

4. Try alternative forms of feeding:  food games, puzzles and food balls (which require the cat to roll the ball around to get food) can work for some cats.

5. Engage your cat with more playtime:  "Indoor cats are less active than ones who live out of doors, so engaging them in 10-15 minutes of playtime each day can help. Installing a cat tree or two can also help, since they’ll use it to climb up and down." Bonus: playtime creates meaningful bonding between you and your feline friend.

None of these ideas working? Consider chatting with your veterinarian.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.