The Purrfect Diet for Your Fat Cat

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By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter                                                                                                       

SUNDAY, Feb. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Has your favorite tabby gotten a tad tubby?

You can help that fat cat slim down safely. But be forewarned: It won’t happen overnight.

Researchers at the University of Illinois put eight overweight neutered male cats on a diet for 18 weeks. They wanted the cats to lose enough weight to be noticeable but not enough to put their health at risk.

“The intent with this diet was a healthy weight loss: getting rid of fat while maintaining lean mass. The big question was how much does it take to make cats lose weight, especially lazy neutered males?” said Kelly Swanson, a professor in the department of animal sciences.

“It turns out you have to keep reducing their food intake because they’re not very active. It takes a long time,” he said in a university news release.

The goal was to help the cats shed 1.5 percent of their body weight per week. That’s in line with recommendations from the American Animal Hospital Association.

Faster weight loss risks liver trouble. “They can’t handle that much,” Swanson said.

The researchers started by reducing the cats’ food intake by 20 percent, and then kept cutting it back every week — just like people might do to see continued results on the scale.”When we go on a diet ourselves, we might lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks and then hit a road block. Same with these animals,” Swanson said.”We had to keep going down, but it can be hard to convince a pet owner to do that. You might get owners to reduce intake from 60 to 50 grams per day, but we’re telling them they might have to go to 45 or 40 grams. We got really low, but we were monitoring them so they were healthy,” he explained.As the cats lost weight, the researchers noticed that some types of bacteria in their guts became more abundant, while others decreased. These changes may be beneficial but more research is needed, the study authors said.Swanson’s team also watched to see if the cats became more active as they slimmed down.

“Their activity level didn’t change much,” Swanson said. “Toward the end, they were becoming a little more active, but not statistically.”

Even so, he said owners should encourage their cats to get as much exercise as possible by playing with them and placing food bowls farther from their favorite resting spots.

The study was published in the February issue of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

WebMD News from HealthDay

 

COMMENTS FROM LOVINMYPUP.COM:

This is an article that addresses the problem of feline obesity which is a common problem today.    This takes a very matter of fact problem and gives it  format for resolution.  And it is a format  that I have used with Bella .  Working with her Vet, we came up with the calorie level she needed based on her activity level.   We followed the outline and she lost the 10 pounds slowly and safely over an 8 month time span.  The concept is the same for all fur babies.    If you have a fur baby that is over weight it will behove you to follow the suggestions in this article.

Make sure that you check the links on the right side of this page for great pricing on pet supplies and products.  Also note that Amazon and Walmart are sites that you can purchase anything that they sell..

Lovinmypup.com is also looking into restarting the program of featuring your  pets on line.  No decision has been made as to the location of this feature.  It may be on this site or on a seperate blog site.   More information will follow as decisions are made,  Keep coming back for more information and future updates.

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