9 Out of 10 Pet Owners Don't Realize This About Their Pet

It's astonishing that owners are in such denial about this, and because of it, they are forcing their pets to suffer from unnecessary painful conditions and disease, as well as early death.
And, tragically, all too often it can lead to euthanasia. Are you enabling this to happen to YOUR pet?

Sadly, the majority of pet cats in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. According to the most recent research by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 58 percent of American kitties are overweight, and 28 percent are considered obese.

Even more discouraging is that an astonishing 90 percent of cat guardians think their too-heavy cat is a normal weight. According to Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of APOP:

“Pet owners think their obese dog or cat is a normal weight, making confronting obesity difficult. No one wants to think their pet is overweight, and overcoming denial is our first battle.”

Our animal companions have much shorter lifespans than we do. Depending on her breed and other factors, your kitty’s life is compressed into a short 12 to 20 years. And just as her lifespan is accelerated compared to yours, so too is the damage done to her body when she is forced to carry too much weight.

Yes, I said forced. There are no fat felines in the wild. It is humans who have created this problem, and it is humans alone who have the power to reverse the disastrous trend of an ever-increasing number of fat, sick, immobile, and short-lived pet cats.
Story at-a-glance

> According to current statistics, 58 percent of cats in the U.S. are overweight, and 28 percent are obese

> There are no fat felines in the wild, so the painful truth is that humans are creating an epidemic of obesity and unnecessary suffering in pet cats

Overweight cats are at greatly increased risk for shortened lifespans, diseases affecting mobility, and numerous disorders involving major organ systems

> There are many things you can do as a cat parent to help your pet achieve and maintain a healthy weight, including feeding the species-appropriate nutrition in the right portions, and encouraging her to be physically active

> Overweight cats must lose weight very slowly, so work with your veterinarian to develop a weight loss plan customized for your pet’s individual needs

Fat Cats Routinely Become Very Sick Cats        

There are so many reasons to prevent your cat from becoming overweight or obese. One of the most important is to insure your kitty has a good quality of life throughout her life. Another is so that you’ll have your pet with you for as long as possible.
  • Overweight pets often don’t live as long as pets at a normal weight. The shortened lifespan of a heavy cat can be the result of one or more obesity-related diseases.
  • Carrying around extra weight on a small feline frame places tremendous stress on joints, tendons and ligaments. This can cause arthritis. Tragically, in worst-case scenarios, senior cats immobilized by weight and intractable pain wind up euthanized.
  • Overweight cats have fat lurking in places you can’t see. For example, accumulations of fat deposits in the chest and abdomen can restrict the ability of your kitty’s lungs to expand, making breathing difficult.
  • Obesity is the biggest risk factor for diabetes mellitus in cats. Kitties fed processed cat food, in particular dry food (kibble), are at highest risk for developing this often difficult-to-manage disease.
  • Overweight kitties can also develop hypertension (high blood pressure), which can negatively impact major organ systems.
  • Hypertension does significant damage to a cat’s body. It causes small blood vessels to leak and in some cases, rupture. The result can be a detached retina or a stroke. High blood pressure also takes a toll on the kidneys and heart.
  • Overweight and obese cats are often predisposed to fatty liver disease, a potentially life-threatening disorder also called hepatic lipidosis. A buildup of fat cells in the liver prevents normal functioning. Left untreated, the liver ultimately fails and sadly, cats can and do die from this condition.
  • Your overweight kitty is also at greater risk for feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). FLUTD is a group of disorders, any of which can affect your cat's bladder or urethra, including cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urinary tract infections, urinary stones, urethral plugs, cancer and other disorders.
  • Overweight cats are also at higher risk for surgical complications, decreased immune function, skin disorders, constipation, and certain types of cancer.

Are You Enabling YOUR Cat to Be Fat?

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