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Obesity in cats

Obese cats may have difficulty in leading a normal life. Even in some severe cases, extreme obesity may shorten their lives. Obesity in cats is one of the most frequent disorders in cats, and it is estimated that even 35% of all cats in the world are obese. Obesity is a potentially very serous condition because it can cause certain other conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, for example.

Causes of obesity in cats

The causes for obesity in cats are numerous and various. Overfeeding, using the wrong kind of food or some other disease may lead to the occurrence of excessive fat mass in cats. In the majority of cases, the owner of an obese cat is the only one responsible for the cat’s problem with weight, because he regulates its feeding. The owner usually overlooks the difference between the caloric intake and the output. The kind of food, the accessibility of that food, and the tastiness of the food are some of the potential causes for the obesity in cats. Furthermore, the quantity of food, the cats’ eating habits, and the type of food, in most cases determine whether the cat will be obese or not.

Those cats that are not very active do not need high-calorie foods, because they do not need an extra energy. Therefore, table scraps, and premium high energy food lead to the occurrence of obesity in cats. Also, free choice of food is the cause of obesity in cats, because the cat is always able to eat. There are some indicators that show that breed,as well as genetics, can to some degree determine if the cat is at greater risk to become obese. Those cats that are of pure breed are not at great risk to become obese as are the mixed breeds. In the majority of cases, the cat develops the problem of obesity between five and six years of age. A senior cat usually does not develop obesity unless it is induced by some disease or medications.

One of the causes of obesity in cats is social environment. Cats are not very good at facing stress and a stressful situation. A stressed cat will eat much more. This is very similar to the reaction of many people who tend to eat whenever they confront some stressful situation. Several drugs that regulate epilepsy, such as glucocorticoids or barbiturates, can have effects on metabolism, as well as on the cats’ appetite. Hypothyroidism, Cushing disease, and Pituitary gland abnormalities may cause obesity in cats.

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