|Posted on February 1, 2013 at 4:10 AM|
Ten years ago, estimates were that 25 to 33 percent of house cats were overweight or obese. Today, that number is 55 percent.
Ten years ago, energy-dense, starchy dry foods were identified as a significant contributor to the problem of obesity in felines. (Because, as noted earlier, carbs not used for energy -- which are the majority of carbs in a cat's diet -- turn to fat.)
Ten years ago, we knew that 'weight-loss diets' low in fat and high in fiber may take a cat's weight off, but what they are losing most of is their lean body mass, not the fat. Commercial cat foods contain high amounts of insoluble fiber, which causes more pooping and fecal water loss in cats who often do not consuming enough water. We also knew high fiber diets negatively affect nutrient digestibility.
Ten years ago, we were linking dry cat food to feline diabetes, idiopathic feline hepatic lipidosis, dietary intolerance and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Yet today, 10 years later, with more than half the cats in the U.S. overweight or obese, the majority of veterinarians and cat owners remain blissfully unaware of the connection between fat, sick cats and poor quality commercial cat foods.
Let's turn this trend around and begin providing species-appropriate nutrition to the remarkably unique and deserving feline creatures in our care.