Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fat Cats, more common than I thought.

Apparently lying around the house all day eating and taking no exercise increases the chance that you will grow fat and- at some point-develop diabetes.
I"d like to say I"m shocked but...well, I'm not.

From the BBC

"Cat owners have been urged to watch the waistlines of their pets as a rising number of felines are diagnosed with obesity-related diabetes.
A study by Edinburgh University has shown that one in 230 pet cats in the UK is now diabetic.

Overweight cats are said to be more than three times as likely to suffer from diabetes, which develops when the body has problems making insulin.

Neutered males that do not get adequate exercise are particularly at risk.

Cat lovers have been warned to crack down on treats for their pets if they are to avoid the risk of them developing the potentially fatal condition.

Professor Danielle Gunn-Moore, from Edinburgh University's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: "This is the first study of its kind to try to quantify diabetes among cats in the UK and the results show extremely worrying levels.

"To reduce your cat's risk of developing this often fatal disease you need to keep them active, and not allow them to gain too much weight."

Between 85% and 95% of diabetic cats suffer from type II diabetes, which is commonly associated with obesity.

More than two million people in the UK have the condition.

Prof Gunn-Moore said: "The lifestyle of cats, just like their owners, is changing.

"They are tending to eat too much, gain weight, and take less exercise.

"Unfortunately, just like people, cats will overeat if they are offered too much tasty food, particularly if they are bored and have little else to do.

"While cats would naturally exercise outside, many cats are now housebound - perhaps because they live in a flat or because their owners feel that it is too dangerous to let them out - so they have little to do all day but eat, sleep, and gain weight.""

It's true you know. I've just come back from holiday and Puddy, who stayed with my Spanish friend in an apartment in town, put on exactly one and a half pounds in weight in ten days. This is because my Spanish friend spoiled her rotten for the time she was there, giving her milk instead of water and cooked ham instead of dry food flavoured with sachets. As a result Puddy was delighted and rounder. The other two cats- who did not live the high life for a week- lost weight, mostly due to stress.
I only feed my cats once a day, and that is at night when they are going in to bed, left to their own devices they would quite cheerfully eat all day. A bit like my mother.
Cats are natural scavengers and my lot are no different, who the bloody hell knows what they're eating throughout the day, but other than what they find their food intake is not enormous and they all appear fit and healthy, even Puddy who is 16 and has had cancer.
Overfeeding your pets is not a kindness, especially as they get older. But try telling that to an owner whose cat is doing loops under their feet and meowing.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I only feed my cats once a day, and that is at night when they are going in to bed"

Why would you do that now? Do you bring them in at night? If so would you not just be giving them 8 hours or so to store the food the have just eaten as body fat (which is harder to burn off), would you not feed them in the morning so they have lots of energy for they day ahead. I have two cats at the moment one is 19 and the other is 2 i feed them 4 times a day, both fit and healthy!!

10:37 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

I'm feeding my kitten twice a day with those little kitten sachets and a couple of spoonsful of dried kitten food. No snacks at all allowed in between. The first time I let him out in the garden, he spent all his time batting the bees in the lavendar and then ate one of those big heavy bumble bees. I was heavily stressed all day in case he had been stung in the throat, but he was fine. If he starts catching his own lunch I will reduce his "fast food".

10:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Oh, and welcome back, you were missed!

10:58 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"Why would you do that now? Do you bring them in at night? If so would you not just be giving them 8 hours or so to store the food the have just eaten as body fat (which is harder to burn off), would you not feed them in the morning so they have lots of energy for they day ahead."

My cats sleep in the garage at night so I feed them then, dry food with one tin mxed through it. that's it. I don't feed them at all during the day any more. They're out from about seven/eight am to eleven pm and are pretty active-except Puddy- during that time, apart for the hour or two they snore on the end of my bed. So feeding them at night makes perfect sense to me, they've been on the go all day and are tired and hungry.
Shrug, I"m sure everyone has different feeding habits for their animals, but this one works for mine.
Shebah, kittens need regular and smaller meals. so you are spot on. I'm laughing at your bumblebee story, mine are constantly after butterflies and the smaller of the cats spends a good deal of his time 'stalking' bluebottles, which considering he only has one eye he catches nine times out of ten.
OH and in another week or two it will be daddy longleg season, wait until your kitten gets a load of those slow flying stupid suckers.

11:17 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose, my cats sleep on my bed i have a cat flap so they pretty much come and go as they please, the older cat won't and never has eaten cat food, she's a boiled chicken, rice and grilled fish kinda girl. The little cat won't eat dry food i never thought of mixing them though, hmmm i'm gonna try that, the dry food is suppose to be good for their choppers isn't it

11:33 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't know. I use it becasue it's convenient and they can eat it, and come back to it, where as if I just fed them wet food on it's own it would be gone in less than a minute.
My lot are not that fussy, the smaller one likes donuts and popcorn too and the bigger of the cats would slit your throat for Chinese food, especially if it come in a brown bag for some reason, and Puddy would eat her own body weight in sliced ham every day if she was allowed.

11:39 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My big cat is a lady the little one is pretty mental though he chases the guy from the chip shop, even when he is not delivering to my house, quite embarrassing really so i won't order from anywhere in Terrenure/Templeogue on the the off chance i get the piss taken out of me. You can't help but give the little muckers treats though.

11:51 a.m.  
Blogger Rusticissimus maximus said...

I was really surprised to learn that cats, but even more so dogs, are prone to diabetes.

I worked, and still sometimes do, in a boarding kennells back home which also takes cats, many of whom clearly have diabetes as a result of a sedentry lifestyle and owners that insist on feeding them round the clock.

We often get elaborate and indulgant feeding regiemes from customers who require that 'Sooty' (real names may be disguised to protect identity) gets x amount of snacks a day, and y amount of cream in his/her milk and they often bring their own food supply.

Naturally, having the animals best interests in mind, we always put them on a healthier option AND WATER and make sure that 'house' cats especially spend at least a few hours each day out of their apartment (I laughed when I heard that, but seriously that's what a cats kennel is called!) in their run.

They always go home happier and more lively than when they came in.

Also, never feed a kitten milk! Just in case ye don't know, it's bad for them!!

12:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Really? I did not know that. I knew dogs had problems breaking it down but not cats, mine drink water anyway, but Puddy likes a small bowl now and then.

12:24 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Shitface the cat lives out most of the time but comes in for small meals morning and evening and is hideously indulged with burbling baby talk. I'm worried that the latter may give him psychological diabetes. His latest bit of 'kill' was a bat... a pipistrelle, I think. Please don't tell the bat people.

12:25 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Fast cat, I'd imagine they're hard to capture.
Mrs Blackbird went the same way as her offspring-I'm not sure which of the cats killed her, but she's gone and there were nowt but some feathers left. Mr Blackbird has a new missus now and she's smaller and less bold and therefore harder to catch so hopefully they'll be all right.

12:30 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahh youck, if my cat was out killing baby blackbirds, bats or the like i'd ground him for the rest of his life

12:37 p.m.  
Blogger Rusticissimus maximus said...

Oh, now and then of course! Don't we all like the odd tipple.

12:43 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Indeed.
You can't ground cats nor expect them not to be cats. The do horrible stuff, lick their own holes and kill things. I know this, but I still tried to intervene when TSOTC caught the young fledgling.
Conan, Shitface? Ahahsnarf, My Grandpa have a tom-cat called Narrowarse for years.

2:01 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

how long does it take cats to get diabetes i wonder. D is gone 'til saturday nite.

2:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Unless you're very good with gavage, the best you can hope for in that time frame is a touch of gout. I'd say you're plum out of luck and your towels with remain haired on.

2:25 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm telling you know, they'd never set foot outside again. Neither of them have ever brought home any victims, probably becouse they know i'd kill them.

2:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now*

2:27 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

My obese 20 pound cat lived to be 18. Cats are like people, some will just be fat no matter what.

10:08 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

20! that is a very good innings indeed. lady cat or mister cat?

10:29 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I am a simpleton and also most tired, I see your cat was 18, either way that is a very solid good age.

10:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 20 year old cat just died. Two months ago I brought her to the vet and told them I thought she was having bladder problems because she missed the box several times (never did before) and peed in the bathtub. Never did before. She was also acting sluggish. THe vet said her urine was clean. Last week she ended up at the emergency vet who said her glucose was 400. The next day she was watched by our vet who said her heart rate was low and eratic. She died yesterday. We were told it was diabetes. Question: can cats get diabetes that fast. Wouldn't the urine test been done several months ago have shown evidence of onset diabetes?
Ask me if I am feeling guilty.

5:24 a.m.  

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