The epidemic of overweight cats is on a steady rise – and this should raise concern with cat parents. A 2018 study showed that 59% of domestic cats are obese and that number continues to increase!
Obese cats suffer more pain than we think they do. We often joke around about obese cats or even follow them on social media because we think they’re cute. They seem cuddly and fluffy, and of course cat lovers are drawn to that. I have to admit that I wanted a fat cat in my younger years because they seemed so chill. The problem is that the “chill” isn’t because they are content… it’s because the majority of cats that are obese are not comfortable. Thier whole body is taxed by the extra weight and it can hurts for them to move.
We currently see a rise in cats with diabetes, pancreatitis, arthritis and kidney disease. While the medical field is doing little to figure out why, when you look at these cases you’ll see that many of these cats are also obese. And I don’t mean grossly overweight… many of these kitties are simply a few pounds too heavy.
When you look at a cat compared to a human, a few pounds over weight is more like 50-100 lbs overweight to us. These kinds of numbers can be dangerous for us, and the same goes for our cats.
Why so many domestic cats are obese
Just like with humans, maintaining a healthy weight means we need to look at diet and exercise for our cats. Most indoor cats don’t get enough exercise and the overwhelming majority of cat parents are unwittingly contributing to the weight problem many of our cats struggle with.
Why? Because cats are not cows. They were not made to graze food all day long. They were meant to eat small meals throughout the day – and work for those meals. When we free feed our cats dry food all day and they get little to no exercise, obesity is the result.
To add injury to insult, all dry food is high in carbohydrates – which our cats are not biologically designed to consume. So, for convenience we leave out carbs in an all day buffet and our cats end up sick.
Let’s do better for our kitties by picking up the dry food and giving them smaller, moisture rich meals instead. Also plan to take 20 minutes of your day to get your kitty moving and exercising. This will not only help build the bond between you and your cats, it will also help them live longer, happier lives.