Cat Health Issues–Inactivity & Over-Eating Lead to a Fat Cat

We are seeing too many fat cats around these days.  The same goes for overweight dogs.  This can lead to very serious cat health issues over time.

I have relatives that own 2 dogs and 4 cats.  In fact, my wife and I will be visiting them out of state next week. 

The 2 dogs are very active.  My cousin owns several acres of land so the dogs have a lot of room to run and play.  My cousin and his wife like to take long walks.  The dogs always go with them.  The dogs don’t walk.  They run several yards ahead of my relatives.  Then they come running back to join them.  They get a lot of exercise.  As a result, they are slender and very healthy.

But the 4 cats are very chubby.  They spend their day inside the house.  They sleep mostly and get up long of enough to eat.  Their food is left out all day so they can graze for food whenever they want it.

The cats live a very comfortable life.  But they have got to be very unhealthy.

Here is a brief quote from an article I just read.  It’s entitled, “Healthy Habits for Healthy Pets.”  The author is the Loving Care Animal Clinic.

Inactivity and overeating has led to an epidemic of preventable diseases in humans. Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle for pets can also translate into health problems for them as well. A fat cat or chubby dog may be cute and cuddly; however, inactive, overweight pets are more prone to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and arthritis.

Just as for humans, regular exercise can improve a pet’s health and mental well-being. Healthy activities for pets can also improve a pet owner’s health by default.

Cats are active hunters by nature, but often don’t get the physical activity they need from an indoor life. Pet cats are kept indoors where they will be safe from coyotes and cars. It’s not easy to encourage cats to exercise and because they are less likely to be taken out for walks and played with, indoor cats can become very sedentary.

Since, by nature, cats like to hunt, chase and play, a cat that doesn’t get playtime can get bored. When this happens, cats will often acquire eating as a hobby. If food is always available to them and they have nothing else to do, cats can develop the habit of eating when they are not hungry. The combination of inactivity and extra calories ultimately leads to an overweight cat.

The complete article can be read HERE.  It’s a very well written article with good information.

I really like this quote from the article:  “The thing about dogs and cats is they don’t make a conscious choice to overeat—people choose this for them; we control the food.”

That statement makes complete sense.  Our cats and dogs are not going to voluntarily start eating less in order to be healthy.  It’s completely up to us, the owners. 

Do you have a cat that is overweight?  I hope the article by the Loving Care Animal Clinic is helpful and gets your attention.

The key to a longer, healthier, happier life for our pets is feeding them less, providing a nutritious pet food, and making sure they get plenty of exercise.  I understand that this is more difficult for cats.  But it’s completely up to us.

Your comments are welcome.

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