Cat feeding is a serious issue. Many experts agree that in the Western World we as people eat far too much. In Vietnam the average Vietcong soldier managed to live quite comfortably on a fraction of the calories that his counterpart US soldier ate. It is now commonly accepted that these far in excess calories can lead to health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. But not only that, calories from high sugar and fat items can also lead to problems. Well the same is true of our cats and pets. Too many of the wrong calories can lead to a plethora of health issues as this report shows:-
“So you share some of your food. Maybe it’s because you have already stuffed yourself and can’t finish it yourself, or you just want to reward your pet. Food feels like a quick reward for both of you. But, as far as your pet is concerned, realize that the food you’ve just given is most likely full of sugar and carbohydrates that are not nutritious for your cat or dog. Too much of this rewarding can lead to your pet gaining unnecessary pounds.
No one likes the thought of being called fat. The problem lies in the sensitivity of the issue. It’s just human nature that we don’t like being told that we are overweight or obese, even though we realize the health risks we are putting ourselves in. Loving your pets like your own children conjures up this sensitivity as well. We take offense when we are told that our pets are obese and in need of losing some weight.
With pets, just as in humans, the problem stems from lack of exercise and from overeating, especially unhealthy snacks and foods. This delicate issue of obesity can be awkward to discuss between veterinarians and pet owners, as it may seem to imply that the owners have done something wrong. Some respond defensively or see it as a reflection of their own lack of exercise and struggles.”
“A recent study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention shows that more than half of dogs and cats in America are obese. With about 170 million pets, it is estimated that 41 million dogs and 47 millions cats are overweight. The truth of the matter is that these extra pounds can lead to costly health problems.
Heart disease and diabetes are common in pets that are obese, as it is with their two-legged counterparts. According to Petplan USA, a pet insurance company, it costs more than $900 to care for diabetic dog or cat. Treatment for arthritis and ligament tears from pets who are overweight and have weak joints contribute an average of $2,000 to vet bills. In 2011, pet owners’ insurance claims increased 253 percent for diabetes, more than 30 percent for heart diseases and approximately 350 percent for arthritis claims.
The risk of pet obesity can be increased by genetics, high-fat diets, overeating, lack of exercise and health problems such as hypothyroidism. For pets, gaining a few pounds can add a lot of stress to their bones and organs, because of their smaller bodies. These extra pounds may also contribute to a shorter lifespan.
Technically speaking, common health problems may include: orthopedic disease, diabetes mellitus, abnormalities in circulating lipid profiles, cardiorespiratory disease, urinary disorders, reproductive disorders, neoplasia (mammary tumors, transitional cell carcinoma), dermatological diseases, and anesthetic complications.”
So what do you need to do about cat feeding?? Firstly research what the ideal weight of your cat should be taking account its size, age and breed. If you have problems then consult your vet or do a search on the Internet for a cat support group. Then, what you feed your cat is important. We believe that many commercial cat foods have profit making as their number one aim as opposed to cat welfare.
Your cat is an animal protein eating creature. This is what mother nature as evolved the cat to eat. The cat has not been designed to eat foods high in carbohydrates or human sugary or savoury treats. So keep your cat away from dry food and wetfood that contains a high amounts of carbohydrate. The best cat feeding is giving your cat a natural raw diet, similar to what it would eat in the wild. But this is not always easy to do, although more and more natural food suppliers are entering the market.