Wednesday, May 6, 2009 3:27 PM

The Myth of the Finicky Eater, Part 2

Well, as I was saying…actually, I don’t think that the cat food manufacturers are consciously trying to create fat house cats (although, it does create a market for “diet” pet foods!). It’s just that, in order to be the food that you, the cat owner buys, it must be better than their competitors’. Which means that your cat must eat more of it and just plain like it better than the other brands on the store shelf. How do they get to that heavenly place on your shopping list? By making it tastier to your cat (i.e., more fat and carbs=more junk food taste)!

Cats have really no need for carbohydrates in their diets. Mostly, cats need protein, since they are true carnivores. A diet high in fat won’t necessarily hurt a cat, that is, it won’t cause disease; however, it will put weight on them since fat is calorie-laden. And, since their bodies have no use for carbohydrates either, that will also go to fat storage. So, you see the problem.

Once a cat starts packing on the excess weight, you can forget about any activity that even resembles exercise. Add to that the natural disinclination that comes with advancing age for unnecessary movement and you’ve got yourself an obesity problem. Remember—an average adult cat weighs about 10 pounds. So, a gain of 1 pound is 10% of his body weight. For an adult human whose normal weight is 150 lbs., that’s a 15 lb. gain. That’s enough to impact the way your clothes fit, the way you look, and most importantly, your health! It’s the same with cats—and, like us, they tend to bulk up around the middle, the worst place to store fat.

What to do? Well, luckily for you—next week I will have all the answers! Just kidding. I will start to discuss some real-life fixes, though, so tune in!

Slice of Life: Poor J. had quite a spring cold (or flu) recently that lasted for 2 weeks. He developed a nasty cough that sounded like he had rales! (By the way, the honey & lemon treatment really works.) I started calling him “Phlegmbot” which he really appreciated, I could tell. Anyway, one evening he was watching the boob tube with his constant companion, Goldilocks, on his lap. He started to laugh at some inane sitcom bit which caused a rumbling that sounded like the marbles-in-a-can aversion training technique. Goldie turned and gave him a look like, “Yikes!” and took off like a shot. See? That technique really does work!
Chat later!

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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