The biggest reason that cats are overfed is because humans believe that food equals happiness. We also believe that our cats will be healthier and love us more if they have food available all the time.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
You see, many of us were raised to believe that a happy belly means a happy person. We sit around the table for dinner with family and friends eating a good meal and it’s the highlight of our day. I can’t remember the last time we had friends or family over without preparing food for them. Psychologically, this leads us to correlate food and happiness as one in the same.
And that’s the reason why we continually offer our cats’ food. We want them to be happy.
But, follow me here… have you ever eaten too much food and felt bloated and uncomfortable? When I eat too much pasta or bread (two of my favorite foods), I feel the inflammation in my body and I’m not my best self. On the other hand, when I eat smaller, healthy meals followed by a fasting period I feel alive and great.
The same goes for our cats.
Sure, a fed cat is always better than a starving cat, but food doesn’t equal happiness for our furry family members. When we leave food out all day for them to graze at their leisure, they eat out of boredom and feel lethargic and uncomfortable – causing them to sleep more instead of exercising their bodies. This leads to feline diseases. Cats are not cows and their bodies were not designed to graze food like cattle. Instead, they were designed to anticipate their food and eat small, meat-based meals.
Does food equal happiness?
In the wild, cats will have a fasting period between meals. During this time their bodies will rest, restore and recover from health issues and inflammation in the body. When the body is digesting food, it cannot repair itself as it’s designed to do. This is why a 8-12 hour fasting period between meals is actually very healthy for our cats.
Free feeding cats is a leading cause of the epidemic of obesity in cats. In addition, overfeeding our cats is linked to diabetes, kidney disease and stress-induced illnesses.
Giving your kitties smaller, scheduled meals with intermittent fasting is an excellent way to make them happy AND healthy!!!