Your Cat Won’t Hate You for Putting Him on a Diet!
17 January, 2017

Many cats are overweight which can lead to many health issues, especially as they age.  Fatter cats have a harder time running around and the extra weight is extremely hard on their joints.  Then why are some owners resistant to putting their cats on a diet?  If you think your cat will hate you for doing so, a study show that isn’t the case!

A study at Cornell University wanted to see if cats’ food were reduced, how would they feel?

Concerned with the human role in feline obesity, Cornell researchers asked: If a cat’s food were reduced, would the cat’s behavior change? If so, how would owners translate those changes? For the study, 48 cats, each at least 25 percent over ideal weight, were put on one of three restricted diets, equal in calories. Owners answered extensive questionnaires about their cats:

Before the diet, when your cat was hungry, did it beg? Meow? Pace? After feeding, did it jump in your lap? Since the diet, does your cat bat at you? Hide? Hiss? Steal food?

The outcome of the study was that cats showed MORE affection after dieting

The Journal of Veterinary Behavior  study showed that owners don’t need to fear rejection if they restrict their cats’ calories and will not lose their pet’s love if they cut back on their food intake. According to results reported by owners, after 8 weeks on a diet, the cats in the study were actually more affectionate than normal after they were fed.

The cats did not feel vindictive and actually were loving

After feeding, the cats would more often purr and sit in the owner’s lap.  “We don’t know why,” said Dr. Beaver. “But cats don’t hold a grudge if you limit their food.”   And so often, the reasons cats gain too much weight is that owners “misread” their pet’s behavior, unwittingly reinforcing it with treats.

Cats rubbing against their owners does not necessarily mean they want food!

When cats rub up against their owners throughout the day, a lot of owners think they must want more food.  But that’s not the case and it could just be your cat wanting affection. Instead of feeding, try to play with your cat or give your kitty a belly rub and you will probably get rewarded with affection.

Cat obesity is on the rise so we need to help control our kitties’ weigh

Owners misread of the affection factor could be part of the reason why 58.3 percent of pet cats in the U.S. were found to be overweight or obese in 2012, a figure that marked an all-time high in the feline obesity crisis (it dropped slightly to 57.9 percent in 2014). Since obesity increases a cat’s risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other conditions, it’s in our best interest to help our kitties lose a few pounds.

Cats that overeat usually do so because it is offered to them or they are bored.  And this study proves them won’t hate you for putting your kitty on a diet, so please do if your cat is overweight.  It’s in your cats’ best interest and as always, consult your veterinarian for the best diet for your cat.

If you want to know how you can tell if your cat is overweight, this article, could help: Overweight Cats

The original story was reported by the New York Times.


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