The common denominator is the owner who has consistently overfed his/her cats who look like siblings. They are both obese to put it bluntly. It is as easy as pie to get into the habit of overfeeding oneself and one’s cats. In fact, the former often precedes the latter because obese people lose their bearings on what constitutes the correct weight (good BMI) for themselves and their cat. This is not a criticism or lecturing. It is very human and all of us are susceptible to this wayward behaviour.
It is very easy to normalise obesity to the point where you just don’t notice it. I did this when my metabolism started to slow at around 65-years-of-age but continued to eat what I had always ate. And I continued to drink alcohol to the same level.
All that stopped about eight years ago. No booze, a completely altered diet. I am eating about a third of what I used to eat daily. You have to be hungry sometimes. You should be hungry before you eat and not eat because it is time to eat.
It is good to feel the hunger. It is what hundreds of millions of kids feel every day in many developing countries. Fasting is also meant to be good but I don’t do it. I have trained by stomach to accept less so I don’t feel hungry when I eat less.
I feel the exact same mental training can benefit domestic cats. They can get used to eating too much and enjoying ‘therapy eating’ or eating for pleasure sometimes brought about by boredom as their life lacks challenges.
Humans and cats need challenges for the mind and body. It is what they are made for. We are like cars. You have to use or lose it. That’s a well-worn adage. But a true one.
There are no scientific studies linking obese people with obesity in pets. It won’t always occur but there will be a link in general. Obesity by the way is described as being 25% over an ideal body weight.
People have natural propensity to myopia concerning their own obesity. This extends to pet obesity, and you must have heard of the pet obesity epidemic. And the human obesity epidemic. Funny that they run parallel with each other!
Cornell in the USA say that 40% of US domestic cats fall into the obese category. US government statistics tell us that 42.4 of humans (women and men) are obese. US lifespans are shortening not rising. One reason is Covid. Obesity must be another.
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