You probably know that obese domestic cats are on the increase and that obesity in cats increases the chance of the cat developing diabetes mellitus. In fact, obese cats are 3.9 times more likely to develop diabetes mellitus.
A study compared body condition and diseases in the domestic cat. Six different body condition silhouettes were categorised. These body conditions were described as: cachectic (this means a body that is physically wasted with loss of muscle mass or another was extremely thin), lean, optimally lean, optimal weight, heavy and obese.
The information was obtained from medical records and interviews with cat owners.
The findings indicate that cats which are heavy were almost 5 times more likely to be taken to a veterinarian due to lameness. The lameness is caused by joint, tendon and ligament problems and the greater likelihood of developing arthritis.
An interesting statistic gathered from this study is that obese cats were 2.3 times more likely to develop a non-allergic skin condition.
Skin conditions in domestic cats are quite commonplace. One immediate and obvious reason why obese cats have more skin conditions is because they cannot groom themselves properly. In fact, my research indicates that it would appear to be the major if sole reason why fat cats might have skin problems. It reinforces the importance of grooming for the domestic cat.
People who are enquiring about their cat’s skin condition should at least ensure their cat can groom properly.
Thin cats were 1.7 times more likely to be taken to a vet for diarrhea. This is probably because very thin cats are very likely to be ill and diarrhoea is a common symptom of feline illness.