Overweight Cat, a recent study showed that at least half the pet dogs and cats in the British Isles are overweight and obesity is a common problem. As with people, cats do not become obese overnight; the increase in weight usually takes place gradually and may hardly be noticed at first. If the ribs cannot be felt, the cat is overweight, and if the size of its body makes its head and legs seem too small, it is obese.
Any animal that takes in more food each day than is needed to satisfy its energy requirements is likely to lay down fat reserves and eventually become obese. At one time, cats were very good at regulating their food intake and did not eat to excess. Several possible explanations for the present increase in obesity have been offered, and in each case, there may be a combination of factors involved.
The Relation Between Manufactured Foods & Overweight Cat
Firstly, manufactured foods prepared for cats are a great deal more tasty and attractive than they were in the past, and there are now ‘gourmet’ meals available. Cats are more likely to gorge themselves on this type of food simply because they like the taste. Secondly, it has become increasingly more common to keep cats indoors all the time because of the dangers presented by crowded, busy roads.
Such cats are likely to be less active and, in some cases, even bored, and maybe inclined to eat more than they need as a result. Thirdly, owners are very inclined to overestimate the needs of their pet and to assume that because the cat is avidly eating all of a tasty type of food, and perhaps asking for more, that this must be what it requires. Finally, many people derive pleasure from giving a pet a tasty titbit of food, often a portion of the family meal, and spoiling it in this way.
This is a mistaken act of kindness if the pet then becomes obese. Obese cats are likely to be lethargic and may find difficulty and discomfort in moving around. Arthritic problems are also expected to be made worse if a cat is overweight.
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