Thursday, 9 August 2007

UK fat cats diabetic in record numbers

Filed under: , ,

Hot on the heels of my previous cat-related post comes yet more kitty news from the UK. This time it's about the extent to which diabetes is affecting British cats, and the news isn't good. A study conducted at Edinburgh University reports that one in 230 pet cats in the UK is diabetic. Neutered, overweight male cats are most at risk, apparently. Hmm, at least our hefty male friends don't have to contend with the one of those risk factors! Like humans, however, the more sedentary the cat, the greater the risk.

Overall, being overweight ups the risk of diabetes in felines by three times. There are now around five times more diabetic cats in the UK than there were back in the 1970s. Says Professor Danielle Gunn-Moore of the veterinary program at Edinburgh University, "The lifestyle of cats, just like their owners, is changing. Unfortunately, just like people, cats will overeat if they are offered too much tasty food, particularly if they are bored. While cats would naturally exercise outside, many cats are now housebound, so they have little to do all day but eat, sleep, and gain weight."

Yikes, this describes our own chunky kitty Kato to a T. He is getting older, is sedentary, and weighs in at around 19 pounds last time I checked. Like many people, I'm reluctant to let my cats out in case they get lost, hit by a car, stolen, trapped and impounded...the list goes on and on. Then there's the killing of backyard birds to consider. So: what's a cat lover to do?

No comments: