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A New Year diet for your feline friend

27 January 2013
A New Year diet for your feline friend The New Year is a great time to try something new, a time to focus on getting healthy and shedding a few pounds.

Did you know around a quarter of Britain’s cats (23 per cent) are regarded by their owners to be overweight - yet continue to be fed too many treats, according to a survey conducted by Cats Protection?

The UK’s leading cat welfare charity decided to conduct the survey because feline obesity is on the rise and the organisation wanted to make owners aware of the risks. The study of 1,120 cat owners reveals that around seven in 10 cats (70 per cent) that were slightly, or very, overweight were given a special food treat at least once every week by their doting owners. It also found that all cats (irrespective of their weight) were being fed unsuitable special treats over Christmas such as milk, chocolate or cheese – all of which can make cats ill.

“This shows that Britain’s overweight cats continue to be fed too many treats, which owners principally did out of love, habit or a desire to make their cat feel like a member of the family,” said Jenny Penn, Publicity Officer.

“However, overweight cats are at significant risk of diabetes and arthritis so there is the danger that owners are making a bad situation even worse. It’s not wrong to give treats to cats. However, we would advise owners to give treats sparingly and ones that are specially formulated for cats. Please also consider your cat’s total calorific intake to manage their food intake accordingly.”

A healthy adult cat should usually weigh around four to five kilos. The Cats Protection charity has issued some top tips for helping cats to eat properly:

• Stick to a reputable pet food
• When feeding your cat, stick to the manufacturer’s recommended feeding amount
• Avoid giving your cat fatty foods such as cheese, chocolate, crisps and other ‘human’ food
• If you want to offer your cat a special treat, give your companion a little boiled fish or boneless chicken.

For further advice on helping your cat to stay healthy, or to offer a cat a home, please contact Cats Protection Greenwich on 020 8853 8666.