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January 19, 2012 at 9:58 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Fat Cats: 1 in 3 Cats are Overweight

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

When I first heard that I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I’ve seen my fair share of overweight cats, but 1 in 3? That’s high!

I will have to admit too, I honestly find cats’ pudginess to be a little endearing. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not healthy for cats to be packing on extra pounds. But, how bad can it really be? Is it really THAT big of a deal?

Apparently it’s a lot more severe than I thought. When people gain a few extra pounds, it’s doesn't add much onto their total body weight. When a 12-pound cat adds on 2 extra pounds, that's 20 percent of its body weight!

It can also cause cats to worsen their arthritis, especially in older pets. More weight means more stress on the joints, which will increase pain and other symptoms.

What's behind this trend?

For the same reasons any person can become overweight. Overeating, not enough exercise, etc. And little treats here and there add up faster for cats than they do for us.

On the bright side, Owners do seem to be aware of how an overweight cat isn’t a good thing. Even if it's just out fear for what their cat may look like. A good percentage of owners are embarrassed of their overweight cat, 43% of them to be exact. And 2% said they would pretend the animal belonged to someone else.

Veterinarian surgeon and specialist Martha Cannon says the weight can be hard to shed for cats, “Sadly vets see a high proportion of cats that are overweight and once the weight has gone on it can be very difficult to get it off.”

Slim Kitty Tip 1

See your veterinarian to set up a weight-loss plan.

Slim Kitty Tip 2

Reduce your cat’s diet. You may hear more meows complaining about wanting more food, but stick with it!

Slim Kitty Tip 3

Make your cat exercise by just playing. What’s their favorite game or toy? Focus on that and make sure to set aside time each day to play with your cat. If your cat is an outdoor and indoor cat, letting them outside to just roam around it great exercise as well.

Slim Kitty Tip 4

Another trick a Dr. Jane Brunt says to motivate cats to exercise is to hid treats in food dispensing toys or puzzles. This will motivate them.

What's YOUR take on overweight cats?

Why do you think it's so common? 


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  • ACTUALLY, that statistic is dead-on at my house - I have 6 cats and 2 are obese. It's funny, because I was talking with a few friends about this the other day. I think there is a different attitude when it comes of obesity in cats than there is for dogs. I actually know several people that say they are specifically interested in having a fat cat - they're adorable! My fat kitties snore and sit up like a human - a feat our lean cats can't pull off. They don't have a big chubby belly to help them balance that way. lol Maybe I shouldn't laugh it off or celebrate their round furry little physique, but it doesn't really seem to cause them any problems. They still go hiking through the woods with us, running right along with the rest of the pride!

  • 1 in 3 seems right to me for cats. A few years working at various vet offices and I would say there's a lot of chubby cats. However, I wonder what the stats are on overweight dogs? It's gotta be worse, especially for some breeds.

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