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Are Dry Foods Harmful for Cats?

Buffington, C. A. (2008). “Dry foods and risk of disease in cats.” Can Vet J 49(6): 561-3.

In this Special Report, Dr. Tony Buffington of Ohio State University reviews some of the issues surrounding feeding dry food diets to cats. One of the biggest concerns is a possible relationship between the carbohydrate content of dry foods and risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus. Cats do metabolize dietary carbohydrates different from other species, although this may or may not make dry diets unsuitable for them. Recent research challenges the belief that obesity and diabetes mellitus are diet-induced diseases in cats. Factors that are receiving attention include indoor confinement, lack of activity, and feeding patterns. Environmental, developmental and genetic factors are also likely to play a role. Educating owners about providing an enriched indoor environment should be an important focus for veterinarians.
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Related articles:
Backus, R. C., N. J. Cave, et al. (2007). “Gonadectomy and high dietary fat but not high dietary carbohydrate induce gains in body weight and fat of domestic cats.” Br J Nutr 98(3): 641-50.
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