Wednesday 11 March 2009

More Fat Companion Cats

very fat catThe reason why there are more fat companion cats these days is because we, as people, have a different perception of what body weight is acceptable and the supply of food is such that it is easier to creep up in body weight (and accept it). I think we can turn to America as the "laboratory" where we can do our research on being overweight and why.

The food supply in America is the greatest in the world, bar none and without any doubt. It is astonishing. The choices and prices are fabulous. This is fantastic but also a problem. As humans we are easily tempted. Food is a source of pleasure as well as sustenance. When there is that much food around at the prices asked, people will tend to eat for pleasure more often and not merely for sustenance. That makes us, over time, a little fatter. We learn to accept that because we don't want to stop that source of pleasure. In accepting it we gradually alter our perception of ourselves. The standard changes. The norm shifts. We lose our bearings on body shape and size and bingo a very fat person in America does not look that odd or noticeable anymore. It is a part of the new norm.

And where humans go the darling companion cat will follow because we are responsible for the companion cat. The cat looks to us for sustenance. If we have a shifted attitude to body shape and weight we do not see anything wrong with an overweight cat. I have mentioned America as the "laboratory" in which to study this phenomenon but it happens in most countries where there is a plentiful supply of food. In the UK for instance a vet recalls an incident of a lovely old lady who came into his surgery with a cat who could not support his own body weight making him immobile and she couldn't see anything odd about that. She probably asked the vet to fix the problem!

Apparently, there are a lot more fat companion cats in the UK than before; about 25-30% of pets are now obese (in 2007 it was 21%). Another reason for obesity in cats is perhaps the food. Dry food contains starch (to make the manufacture of it viable) and this, it is argued, can cause diabetes and overeating. Starch in cat food is unnatural. We should in an ideal world provide best quality homemade cat food but very few do (and I am one who doesn't but I should, I really should, and I am thinking about doing it).

More fat companion cats means more ill cats and the kind of illness more likely to attack the overweight cat are:
  • Diabetes (in humans being overweight can cause diabetes) - this is due to insulin resistance
  • Weakened immune system
  • Doubled heart disease risk
  • Joint and bone related problems
  • Locomotion problems
You might like to look at these posts too:
Or use the search box above. There are tons of posts on cat food on this blog. But the bottom line is we have to give our cat less food! My cat is overweight too!

More Fat Companion Cats to Cat Facts

More Fat Companion Cats -- Photo by *phototristan and published under creative commons:

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