Killing Kitty With Kindness
This Diabetes Awareness Week (11-17 June) the UK’s leading feline welfare charity is urging cat owners not to overfeed their pets, following a steady rise in pet obesity.
Cats Protection is warning that podgy pusses are at significant risk of diabetes so there is a danger that owners are making a bad situation worse by feeding them too many treats.
The charity says that the condition is more common in middle-aged and older felines as well as male cats. Symptoms include:
- increased thirst and/or appetite
- passing more urine
- weight loss
- lethargy and weakness
- being more prone to other infections e.g. skin and urinary tract infections
- some affected cats will have sunken back legs so the cat is standing on its ankles as a result of nerve damage
“We love our cats and it’s easy to show this by feeding them extra tit-bits, such as leftovers,” said Dr Vanessa Howie, Cats Protection’s Head of Clinical Services.
“Cats are not by nature greedy but will overeat if they are bored or under-stimulated so it’s important to avoid giving cats extra food as you are risking their health. If you do want to give them a treat, make sure they are designed specifically for cats and adjust the food given in their main meals to compensate for the extra calories.”
The charity also stresses that it’s important to ensure cats get enough exercise and recommends providing stimulation, such as fishing rod toys and feeding balls, to encourage them – especially if they live indoors.
Click here for advice on how to tell if your cat is overweight.
More detailed information on diabetes can be found at: www.cats.org.uk/diabetes