Obese – Meaning cats that are 20% or more, heavier than their ideal weight.

Overweight – Meaning cats that are between 1-19% heavier than their ideal weight.

o It is estimated over 50% of the UK’s cats are overweight.

o 20-30% of these are Obese.

o Cats between 2 and 10 years old are more likely to be overweight.

o Cats prefer smaller, more frequent meals.

o In the wild they may eat up to 20 meals per day.

o Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they strictly feed on animals in the wild.

o Cats naturally eat raw meat; it is perfectly acceptable to feed raw meat in captivity.

o Cat’s teeth are designed to tear meat, not crunch on dry biscuits. Dry food should not be fed to benefit the cat’s teeth.

o Water is a very important part of the cats diet:

o A cat’s prey is generally 75% water.

o Dry food usually has no more than 10% water.

o Tinned food usually has approximately 75% water.

o Kidney disease is the number 1 killer of cats. Kidney disease is usually the result of lack of water.

o It is important for water to be a part of the food, as they have a very low thirst drive and will not drink as much as they should.

o Cats excrete the enzyme ‘amylase’ from the pancreas. Amylase is used to break down carbohydrates; it is lethal to feed too many carbohydrates, but a small 3-5% carbohydrate level is ideal.

o Fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate.

o Starch is a digestible carbohydrate.

o Un-used carbohydrates are stored as fat.Causes of Obesity

o Humans are the number one underlying cause for overweight and obese cats.

o Overweight humans are more likely to have overweight pets.

o Cats that eat dry food are more likely to be overweight.

o Cats often eat when they are bored.

o Inactive cats are 16 times more likely to become obese.

o Indoor cats are twice as likely to become overweight.

o Disabled cats are more likely to be overweight.

o Neutered cats are 3 times more likely to become overweight.

o A neutered or spayed cat usually has approximately 20% lower metabolism due to being less active. This means they require approximately 20% less calorie intake.

o High energy cat food should only be fed to energetic cats. This will not make un-energetic cats more energetic.

o The temperature at which your cat is kept at will affect its metabolism. Cats that live predominantly outdoors will need more calories to maintain a higher body temperature. Cats kept in a centrally heated house will need a lower calorie intake.

Effects of Obesity

o Obesity shortens life expectancy.

o Obesity can cause the following conditions:

o Diabetes mellitus – Sugar diabetes

o Lower urinary tract disease – Several disorders involving the bladder and urethra.

o Lameness – Due to arthritis or muscle injuries

o Non-Allergic skin diseases – Due to being less able to groom.

o Hepatic lipidosis – Fat build up in the liver.

o Cardiovascular disease

o Lower stamina levels and exercise tolerance

o Higher risks when using anaesthetic

o Dystocia – Problems giving birth

o Pickwickian syndrome – Strain on the lungs due to excess fat, making it harder to breathe

o High blood pressure – Leading to heart failure

o Overweight cats are 4 times more likely to develop Diabetes mellitus

o Obese cats are 7 times more likely to be affected by lameness.

o Overweight cats are 3 times more likely to be affected by lameness.

o Obese cats are 3 times more likely to get non-allergic skin diseases due to being less able to groom.

o Obese cats are twice as likely to die at middle age, between 6 and 12 years old.

Source by Chris M Jones

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