Commit to Preventing Fat Cats for National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
October 9, 2012
CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, is celebrating National Pet Obesity Awareness Day (Oct. 10th
) by strongly urging cat owners to ensure their pet remains healthy by maintaining an appropriate weight.
Veterinarians across the country have noted that there has been a significant increase of diabetes and other weight related illness in cats in recent years. According to the National Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 55 percent of the country’s cats are overweight or obese, and many owners are unaware their pets are carrying extra pounds.
“We’ve all seen the evening news carry stories on morbidly obese cats, and some viewers might even think they’re cute. But that cat is in danger of living a much shorter life and is at a much higher risk of suffering from completely avoidable, costly and debilitating diseases because of its excess weight,” said Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council.
Taking your cat to the veterinarian for regular, annual or semi-annual preventive care visits will ensure that you are aware of health issues your cat may be experiencing and will also increase the probability that health problems are caught early enough to be treated. Your veterinarian can tell you if your cat is at a healthy weight and can recommend specific foods and other needs if your cat is overweight.
Also important is environmental enrichment, since cats frequently gain weight because they are not getting enough exercise. Find what motivates your cat and make time in your schedule to play; both you and your cat will have fun, bond even closer and benefit from the exercise. “A healthy weight cat is a happy cat,” adds Dr. Brunt. It’s important for cat owners to realize that extra weight can be difficult to live with and can sometimes lead to early death. It’s no laughing matter. Your veterinarian can provide you with a nutritional assessment and sometimes simple recommendations that, if you follow them, will help ensure that your cat leads a long, healthy and happy life."