Dealing with the fat cats

Obesity in pets

Source: Justine Hankins
Guardian Weekend September 13 2003 p69

Around a half of cats and dogs in Britain are thought to be overweight, and this can lead to kidney disease and diabetes in cats, and arthritis and heart disease in dogs. Fat rabbits are more prone to strokes and breathing problems, and fat horses are more prone to laminitis.

Pets should have a visible waist, and it should be possible to feel their ribs. Pets need sensible diets, and they also need exercise. Toys, such as cotton reels, can help cats to enjoy exercise, while rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs need large runs. Most dogs need to walk for an hour a day, minimum. Owners and dogs benefit, though a gradual start is needed for inactive dogs and owners. Activities with dogs, such as agility and frisbee games, can be more enjoyable than visits to the gym.