Fat People Don’t Notice Fat Cats

by Michael

It’s true. If you are overweight, even obese yourself, you tend to normalise the extra weight. Obese becomes fat and fat becomes normal and that applies to yourself, other people you see and your pets: cats and dogs.

This is one factor that is fuelling the steady rise in obesity in cats and dogs in the USA. The  other standard reasons for the rise in obesity in pets and accompanying health problems is diet and exercise. Pet food has become more calorific. This certainly applies to the popularity of dry cat food, which is very convenient and cheaper on a daily cost basis. As you probably know dry cat food or kibble as it is referred to has to contain relatively high concentrations of carbohydrates to make the manufacturing process work. One vet thinks that dry at food leaves cats in a state of mild dehydration and slightly hypoglycaemic.


As cats get fatter they exercise less and this compounds the overweight problem. Basically fat cats get fatter on a downward spiral and I am not talking about rich businessmen.

In short when a cat owner becomes obese there is a greater possibility that their cat will become obese too.  Obesity is viral to borrow an internet term.

Here are some startling figures relating to pets in the USA. The figures come from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Percentage of overweight or  obese cats55%
Percentage of overweight or obese dogs53%
Number of overweight or obese cats in the USA47 million
Percentage of people who thought their cats were normal weight when they were overweight15% and the percentage is growing. Note: 25% of dog owners have the same problem.

People and cats sit around all day and eat poorly, the both! The problem of pet obesity has consistently become  more severe over the last five years.

Being overweight brings similar health problems to both the cat and his or her human companion:

  • arthritis
  • some cancers
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • (lifespan is shortened by 2.5 years on average – Dr Ward –  California)

The answer is a strict, consistent and permanent diet, no treats and some exercise. it appears that this regime should apply to both pet and person! As weight decreases exercise increases which speeds up the weight loss process.

The problem of obesity in people also affects the UK albeit to a lesser extent. People in the UK are increasingly becoming overweight. I suspect our cats are too. I guess one benefit of the increased cost of cat food in the UK is that is should put a brake on overfeeding your cat or dog.

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Fat People Don’t Notice Fat Cats

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Feb 06, 2012
Happy medium NEW
by: Ruth

I’m sorry about your friend Ruth. The lady I referred to is actually a relative and we are all worried about her future health of course, her parents tried to stop her but she was determined.
It’s sad that everyone can’t enjoy the body they were born with because other people make them feel bad.
I was once stupid enough to worry and lost 3 stone and guess what ? The very same people who’d gone on about me putting weight on started saying ‘Oh Ruth, you look awful, are you ill?’
You can’t win !
I maybe could do with losing a bit now but as long as I feel well I’m not going to worry again, just try to keep the happy medium.
Our cats are nicely padded I think and very fit and playful at 10 years old, which is the main thing.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 06, 2012
Thanks, Ruth NEW
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

I feel bad about my weight pretty much all the time and I know Monty’s getting a little bit tubby too. Thanks for the balanced perspective, Ruth. I do believe being sedentary is worse than just being overweight. I try to stay active and I think Monty gets plenty of exercise too. He enjoys his laser pointer toy. I had to pause in typing this to play a quick game with him!

I had a friend who did that gastric bypass surgery and I believe it took her life. A year later, after losing a massive amount of weight, she died of a heart attack in her 30’s. It’s hard to get enough nutrition after that surgery. Patients have to be very disciplined and follow dietary guidelines carefully. If she couldn’t eat healthy before, how would a surgery help? I think she died of malnutrition, ultimately, the same way anorexic patients sometimes suffer organ damage. I would not recommend that surgery, even though I know people who have had it and seem to be doing ok.

Feb 06, 2012
My thoughts NEW
by: Ruth

There’s a fine line between being a healthy weight and being obsessed with weight and living a life of depriving yourself of all the good things to eat.
The same with cats, they love their food and to cats not allowed outside, especially declawed cats who can’t even play with toys on their own as cats do, it must be a highlight of their day.
I don’t think the odd treat hurts a cat.
We do owe it to our pets to make sure they don’t get obese and you are right Michael that obese people who just sit around let their pets sit around too with not much fun in their life.
It pays to have a bit of flesh on the bones though as if illness strikes and a person is undernourished it could be fatal.
People shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if they don’t have the perfect figure.
Someone I know, a lovely looking lady with a home and family and career she always wanted, recently had a gastric bypass because other people made her feel bad about her weight. She tried all the diets and even a gastric band but the weight didn’t go quick enough for her.
This usually irreversable surgery means she can never eat normally again, what life is that ?
Another lady I know is obsessed about the gym, her figure is like a matchstick but with muscles in her neck and upper arms.
It worries me that pressure from other people can cause these obsessions and cause those people to have lesser quality of life and their pets too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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