This Diabetes Awareness Week, the UK’s leading welfare charity is urging cat owners not to overfeed their pets, following a steady rise in pet obesity.
Cats Protection is warning that overweight cats are at significant risk of diabetes so there is a danger that owners are making a bad situation worse by feeding them too many treats.
The charity says that the condition is more common in middle-aged and older cats, as well as male felines and symptoms include:
- Increased thirst and/or appetite
- Passing more urine
- Weight loss
- Lethargy and weakness
Dr Vanessa Howie, Cats Protection’s Head of Clinical Services, said: “We love our cats and its easy to show this by feeding them extra tit-bits, such as leftovers. Cats are not greedy by nature, but will overeat if they are bored or under-stimulated so it’s important to avoid giving cats extra food as you are risking their health.
“If you do want to give them a treat, make sure they are designed specifically for cats adjust the food given in their main meals to compensate for the extra calories.”
Cats Protection also stress that its important to ensure cats get enough exercise and recommends providing stimulation, such as fishing rod toys and feeding balls, to encourage them – especially if they live indoors.
For more detailed information from Cats Protection on diabetes can be found at www.cats.org/diabetes