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Obesity in Cats

Colliard L, Paragon B-M, Lemuet B, Bénet J-J, Blanchard G. Prevalence and risk factors of obesity in an urban population of healthy cats. Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery. 2009;11(2):135-140.

Obesity in cats is generally defined as being 15% or more over ideal body weight. Cats are considered overweight when up to 15% over ideal body weight. Depending on the study, the incidence of overweight and obesity in cats in various countries ranges from 6 to 52%. This study, from the National Veterinary School in Alfort, France, was designed to determine prevalence and risk factors for obesity in cats in France, as well as owners’ perceptions about the body condition of their pets. All owners presenting healthy cats for vaccination to the veterinary school between March and June 2006 were questioned by a veterinarian using a standardized form. Data was collected on 385 cats, with an average age of 3.5 years. Results indicated that 19% of the cats were found to be overweight and about 8% were found to be obese. Risk factors identified included male gender, neutered status (both male and female), and underestimation of the cat’s body condition by the owner. Some factors, such as the presence of a child in the home, were associated with lowered risk. Unlike some previous studies, living indoors and living without another animal in the home were not significant risk factors. [SL]
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Related articles:
Laflamme DP. Understanding and managing obesity in dogs and cats. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. Nov 2006;36(6):1283-1295, vii.
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Roudebush P, Schoenherr WD, Delaney SJ. An evidence-based review of the use of nutraceuticals and dietary supplementation for the management of obese and overweight pets. J Am Vet Med Assoc. Jun 1 2008;232(11):1646-1655.
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