You may have seen our work with Fit Fred, a dog who - like many others across the UK - was suffering with a weight problem.
What we didn’t say, was how obesity is also weighing heavily on cats.
Why are so many cats piling on the pounds?
With more than 42% of the nation’s cats now considered overweight, it’s time to get your mog on the Catkins diet.
We spoke to vets, and 26% said more than half the cats they treat are overweight. Many think this is down to the rise in ‘house cats’ – moggies who stay indoors and don’t get enough exercise.
Around 20% of these cats that prefer staying indoors are more likely to suffer heightened stress and behavioural issues. This means you’ll probably have some urine patches and scratched furniture when you get home from work.
What are the dangers of obesity in cats?
One of the most common obesity-related problems in cats is diabetes (87%) – with overfeeding (91%) being the leading cause.
Other serious obesity-related illnesses include arthritis, urinary problems, joint issues and heart disease.
How can you help your cat lose weight?
It’s a simple fix. Stop feeding your cat so much.
According to Animal Planet, two to three extra pounds for a cat is the equivalent of 40 pounds for a human. Imagine carrying around all that extra weight.
Don’t do anything drastic though. If you suddenly cut down on your cat’s portion sizes, this can create liver problems and fad-diet fluctuations. For the correct portion size, have a chat with your vet who will give you guidance on the right amount.
If your cat likes to laze around the house, then you need to encourage it to exercise more – whether that’s inside or outside.
Things you could do…
Grab a torch: your cat will enjoy chasing the beam of light on the ground. Laser pointers are even better.
Toys: head to the pet shop and grab some toys, or make some yourself – furry mice are the classic option.
Paper bag: get a paper bag or box, and watch your cat enjoy trying to work its way out.
Treasure hunt: put some treats or bits of dry food around the house, and watch as your cat tries to hunt them out.
Does your mischievous mog’s food addiction get it into trouble?
We’re trying to fix the nation’s naughtiest pets.
If your cheeky feline always has its head in a bag of food, gets stuck in the cat flap or pinches food from the kids, then share a picture or video of its sassy antics and we’ll add it to our gallery, with prizes available too.
Check out our pesky pet video for some inspiration: