Has your favorite tabby gotten a tad tubby?
You will help that fats cat slim down safely. But be forewarned: It gained’t occur in a single day.
Researchers at the University of Illinois put eight obese neutered male cats on a weight loss plan for 18 weeks. They needed the cats to lose enough weight to be noticeable however not sufficient to put their health in danger.
“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?” stated Kelly Swanson, a professor within the division 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 stated in a university news release.
The objective was to help the cats shed 1.5 % of their body weight per week. That’s in keeping with suggestions from the American Animal Hospital Association.
Faster weight reduction risks liver hassle. “They can’t handle that much,” Swanson stated.
The researchers started by decreasing the cats’ food intake by 20 %, and then stored chopping it back every week — identical to individuals may do to see continued outcomes on the size.
“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 stated.
“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 misplaced weight, the researchers observed that some varieties of bacteria in their guts turned extra ample, whereas others decreased. These modifications may be useful however more analysis is needed, the research authors stated.
Swanson’s staff also watched to see if the cats turned extra lively as they slimmed down.
“Their activity level didn’t change much,” Swanson stated. “Toward the end, they were becoming a little more active, but not statistically.”
Even so, he stated house owners ought to encourage their cats to get as much train as potential by enjoying with them and putting food bowls farther from their favourite resting spots.
The research was revealed in the February concern of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.
The Humane Society of the United States has more on fat cats.