The calories going in are greater than the calories going out (burned). That is the cause of cat obesity. It is not clever science and you don’t need clever diets and animal behaviorists to figure out how to fix the problem. You simply have to look at the Jeremy Kyle show on American and British television and observe the lifestyles of the participants.
A lot of the protagonists on the Jeremy Kyle show are fat. In the UK a lot of them have chosen the welfare benefits lifestyle over work because it pays better. Philpott, the monster who inadvertently but recklessly killed six of his 17 kids, is the master of this lifestyle. His net income after tax was almost £60,000 pa which equates to £100,000 earned income. He didn’t earn a penny of it.
- Welfare benefits are essential and a “safety net” when well directed and in the right amount. The welfare system in the UK has lost its way.
- According to some vets and commentators, cat obesity is at epidemic proportions.
A lot of people in the UK choose to live off benefits. It is not their fault. Generally, people choose the easy route and the government has provided it. However the easy route has downsides in exactly the same way that there are downsides to the cushy life of the well serviced domestic cat.
The classic Jeremy Kyle participant gets up late, turns on the television and eats for pleasure. What else? Not much happens beyond that simple existence except for breeding to get more welfare benefits (child benefit) accompanied by the many domestic rows born out of idleness. The devil enters the idle mind.
There is a parallel between people living on benefits as a lifestyle choice and obese domestic cats 😉
The first domestic cats were African/Asian wildcats. They wanted an easier life and they found it around human settlements because the farmer’s grain store attracted a reservoir of rodents, which is perfect cat food.
Over a period of 9,000 years that simple, starting arrangement has got out of hand, in some households. The obese cat behaves like a Jeremy Kyle participant. He lacks mental stimulation, so he sleeps. He gets bored, so he eats. The modern day domestic cat can be a comfort eater just like a human. He lacks challenges both mental and physical which are vital to mental and physical health. He eats junk food just like his human counterpart.
We don’t know how bad this lifestyle is for health. Being cosseted by humans takes away the dangers of the outside, which is a benefit, health-wise, but a lot of cat health problems come from eating poor cat food to excess and not doing any exercise. Cat diabetes comes to mind and that disease is on the rise. It is our fault.
A cat owner plays a similar role to the government. The government of Britain has been too generous with benefits, which is not good for people. People need to have goals and be challenged to be healthy. Cat owners who just plonk down the food and more or less treat their cat as an adornment for the home are doing a disservice to their cat.
The domestic cat needs to find a bit of what he had 9,000 years ago; some challenges. It is up to us to provide it together with the correct amount of good food. Obese cats need to eat less, eat better and exercise more. Only people can manage that change.
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