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It’s so easy for us to give in to the irresistible appeals of our cats by letting them have treats or an extra portion of food.  However, doing this regularly can increase the risks of obesity which is a life-limiting (and sometimes life threatening) condition.

According to the latest 2014 report of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) three out of four vets (77%) believe the pet obesity problem has worsened over the last five years, while two in three owners (63%) feel more important problems face their pets – perhaps unaware of the consequences obesity can have.

However 93% of pet owners say they would be concerned to discover that their pet is overweight and we hope this means that as cat owners we are willing to take positive action!

Here are some more interesting statistics from the report:

  • 63% of pet owners believe their pet is the correct weight

  • According to vets, the percentage of overweight cats is 40%

  • Only 37% of pet owners know how to check their pet’s weight

  • 30% of owners never check their pet’s weight

  • Over a third of pet owners use ‘human’ food to treat, which can be too high in fat and sometimes toxic

  • 68% of pet owners do not follow professional guidance when deciding portion size

  • One chunk of cheese given to a cat represents the equivalent of us eating nine chunks!

  • Just a 20% increase in body weight can contribute to conditions such as diabetes, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular and respiratory disease

However, help is available to owners and almost all veterinary practices now run weight clinics.  There is also lots of useful information available on the PFMA’s website: www.pfma.org.uk and you can read their full obesity report here: http://www.pfma.org.uk/_assets/docs/PFMA_WhitePaper_2014.pdf

The PFMA have also developed a really useful chart for determining whether your cat is a healthy size: