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The Cats Protection League have published their findings from a recent survey of cat feeding habits and diet. 1,120 pet owners were asked about their cat’s weight, the frequency that they receive treats, the type of treats being given and a host of other diet related questions. Some of the statistics provided an insight into owner behaviour – in particular in the case of over weights pets:
Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services, Maggie Roberts, said: “The survey showed 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. 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.”
“The survey also shows that it wasn’t uncommon for cats to be given treats such as milk, chocolate or cheese. All of these could make cats quite ill; many cats cannot digest cow’s milk products and chocolate contains a compound that can be toxic to cats. Cats are obligate carnivores and have to eat certain nutrients that can only be found in meat or commercial cat food.”
“It’s not wrong to give treats to cats but it is advisable for owners to give ones that are specially formulated for cats, and consider their cat’s total calorific intake so that they can reduce their other food accordingly.”
The Cats Protection League can provide help and advice about keeping your cat healthy with tips including feeding a reputable diet food in the quantities recommended by the manufacturer, avoiding given your cat ‘human food’ and, if you do give the odd treat, try lean boneless chicken or boiled fish.