I am probably repeating myself but I think it needs to be said. In my opinion, there are three reasons why there is a current so-called “cat obesity epidemic”. Sixty percent of US domestic cats are overweight apparently. The UK is not far behind.
The three reasons are (a) uncontrolled feeding (b) dry cat food and (c) normalizing obesity.
The first two points overlap. Dry cat food allows cat owners to let their cats graze anytime. They leave a bowlful of dry cat food out day and night and their cat will eat at will. Dry cat food contains taste enhancers which can make it tastier than high-quality wet cat food. If a cat is bored or inactive and is under stimulated then he or she may eat more than they need. It is a form of stimulation. It is surprising to me that domestic cats eat more than they need to. You would have thought that they would self-regulate but many cats often don’t. I think it is because of the attractive taste enhancers added to inherently tasteless dry cat food combined with boredom. I believe feline boredom is a bigger problem than we like to admit. Also so called ‘junk’ cat food prevents the cat from regulating calorie intake.
People are normalizing obesity. This is happening amongst humans and they are carrying it forward to their pets. They end up not knowing what a healthy cat should look like in terms of weight. Then they get used to seeing their cat being slightly obese and the weight keeps on piling on. Then they get used to seeing their cat being very obese. Then their veterinarian tells them that their cat is obese and they start introducing some sort of controls. But the vet will still sell them dry cat food (sometimes).
Wet cat food naturally lends itself to controlling the provision of food because it goes off so quickly. You have to put it out for a cat to eat more or less immediately. In hot climates it will become unusable within hours or less.
The answer is to limit dry cat food or eliminate it and control the intake of high quality wet cat food while keeping an eye on the correct weight. We shouldn’t forget a raw food diet either. A raw diet is generally considered to be an excellent diet but it needs to be well produced, carefully handled and it requires knowledge. It does not suit everybody but it will suit many cat owners despite the fact that veterinarians generally denigrated it because they think people are unable to make and store it properly. They also think it may undermine their sales of dry cat food and indeed it may cure some health problems and that wouldn’t be good for a veterinarian would it? Meow.