Being A Fat Cat Is Not Funny
Being A Fat Cat Is Not Funny
It would seem that there are many pictures and videos of fat cats that are being viewed and shared. There are videos of fat cats dancing, stuck in tubs, fat cats sprawled out on the sofa watching television and so on. They seem to be a subject of much fun however there is a very serious side to this as explained by Stijn Niessen, of the Royal Veterinary College’s Queen Mother Hospital in London, who runs Britain’s first clinic to study feline diabetes.
“Just like overweight people, hefty cats are at serious risk of diabetes. Estimates suggest that 50 – 60 percent of urban cats and 25 percent of rural cats are now obese. “Obese means 20 percent overweight,” says Niessen, “which is quite easy to see on yourself in the mirror.
It’s much harder for pet owners. It can hide, particularly around the tummy, under fluff.”“Niessen now hopes that his research will have implications for human treatment. Insulin itself was only discovered as a result of research in dogs. ‘
’These animals are wandering around our sitting rooms suffering from the same diseases as us and I think there are lessons to be learned,” he says. “They get the same spontaneously occurring type 2 disease and it is as huge problem for them as it is for us.
”The impact diabetes has on the U.S. health care system can scarcely be exaggerated; the disease attacks every organ and causes endless complications from heart attacks to kidney transplants, costing an estimated $245 billion every year.
Niessen is keen to stress, however, that treating cats with the aim of helping humans isn’t the same as animal testing: “I am a vet and I want to find solutions for cats too. It’s as much a problem for pets as it is for us.””So how fat is too fat?
You should be able to see a cat’s waist, ribs and tummy tuck, says Neissen. A plump cat is a pathetic creature. “They feel more vulnerable. They can’t run away from dogs as easily, they can’t groom themselves, they can’t reach as far. Their quality of life is decreased.”
Fat cats are victims of a killer combination of kindness and kitty food. “Cat owners often mistake feeding for love,” Niessen says. “The feeling is that if you love your cat you will feed it, rather than limit its food intake.”
As cats don’t come with a manual, not only do owners find their cats’ chubbiness amusing, they often celebrate it.”
Basically cats are in the same situation as human beings. We both live in a world that is very far removed from what mother nature intended for us. We eat a diet that is in most cases alien to us and we lead a sedentary lifestyle. So how does this reflect in the cat world?
Nature intended cats to eat a diet that is very high in protein and very low in carbohydrate. The perfect food for a cat are small rodents and birds and mammals. When a cat eats these time of things it tends to eat them whole which includes the skeleton.
Compare that to the dry food or high carbohydrate wet food that we now tend to feed pet cats. Furthermore cats are by nature hunters so spend a large part of the day moving around and looking. compare that to the couch potato lifestyle that most cats ‘enjoy’ today.
So being a fat cat is not funny but the good news is that cats put on strict diets have been able to lose weight and in many cases reverse the diabetes.