Some Basic Statistics Concerning Cat Obesity (USA)

Basic statistics on cat obesity usa

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The number of overweight cats in America has risen by 169% in the past 10 years. By way of comparison, there’s been an equivalent 158% increase in overweight dogs over the same period.

Thirty-three percent of cats and dogs are overweight or obese in America.

Banfield Pet Hospital also tells us in which state there are the most overweight cats and dogs. They also tell us that there appears to be no correlation between overweight people and overweight pets. By this I mean that if a person is overweight it does not necessarily mean that his/her pet will also be overweight. This surprised me. The conclusion was arrived at by comparing obesity amongst humans and pets across American states.

The top 10 states with the highest percentage of overweight cats are as follows:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Iowa
  4. Idaho
  5. Delaware
  6. Michigan
  7. Nevada
  8. Kansas
  9. Utah
  10. New Mexico

For comparison, the list for dogs is as follows:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Michigan
  4. Idaho
  5. Nevada
  6. New Mexico
  7. Washington
  8. Utah
  9. Indiana
  10. Oregon

One reason why cats and dogs are becoming more obese is because people have normalised obesity and fail to see it in themselves and their pets.

In addition, it is thought that because people nowadays are more inclined to treat their cats and dogs as family members they are as a consequence more inclined to treat them with tasty food.

And of course becoming obese is always down to two factors one of which is eating too much and the other is a lack of exercise or activity. Therefore the increase in obesity would seem to be also associated with a lack of proper exercise in cats and dogs generally.

There are other factors I’m sure such as the quality of the food they eat and the amount of interaction they have with their owners. It is said that genetics may play a role with respect to Labrador retrievers.

I don’t know whether there is an increase in the number of indoor cats. If so then that could also be a contributing factor.

4 thoughts on “Some Basic Statistics Concerning Cat Obesity (USA)”

    • Good thought. But we have an obesity epidemic in people over here. I agree about the exercise. It seems Brits feed their cats too much. Probably free feeding dry cat food. Lazy cat ownership. Also as a cats gets fatter they become less active so perhaps there is a connection there.

  1. I think that obesity is linked to dry food, which is very popular and convenient. It’s higher in carbohydrates than meat based foods. The combination of high carbs and lack of exercise creates more weight….and ultimately a health problem.

    In looking at the lists, I notice some repeat in certain states, which makes me wonder if it’s lack of knowledge about healthy pet food, or lack of local healthy pet food options.

    On one hand, we have people feeding their pets tasty food that they themselves eat. On the other hand, we have people who feed the cheapest food. Both groups may see their pets as “family”, but treat them very differently.

    Another point is that pets who over eat may be trying to satisfy themselves because the food they’re given is lacking in good nutrition.

    I wonder if cats who are fed raw are ever over weight, unless they’ve just been recently transitioned. I’ve never seen an overweight feral who lives mostly by hunting, except for sometimes begin fed by colony caretakers.

    We’re making our animals fat, and sick. And it’s costing us plenty, just to keep them alive with vet treatments and expensive diets with unhealthy ingredients.

    • Thanks for the comment Sandy. I am always shocked at the high percentage of obese cats and it is not just America. The UK is almost as bad. It seems to me that we have a breakdown in the human/cat relationship if we can’t, at the very least, feed our cats properly and ensure that they are reasonably healthy because obesity is a very unhealthy state.


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