Feline Obesity

For more than 10,000 years, cats have consumed animals and the moisture contained by their prey. For this reason, cats have a poorly evolved sense of thirst because their water needs were met by the animals they preyed on. Cats in the wild and modern cats feed a more natural diet that has a high moisture content are rarely obese, if ever.

Modern cats are still hard wired to eat without any awareness of how much or little water is in their food. Not surprisingly modern cats pay little attention to water sitting in a bowl which is why so many cats on a dry food diet, are dehydrated. At some level, modern cats still instinctually eat their food with some historic expectation of a moisture content of around 75% (which is the moisture content of a mouse).

A study in the June 2011 issue of the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition demonstrated the direct correlation between commonly consumed dry cat food and obesity. Clearly, providing extra water can reduce obesity. So what are the “tricks” to entice your cat to drink more water? Sierra BioScience studied and found out how to get cats on a dry-food-only diet to consume the required amount of water starting with a few common sense thoughts such as:

  • Moving and active water will attract most cats,
  • Containers of water that are always full
  • Water that does not have anything floating on the surface
  • Water that has no objectionable odors
  • Most importantly the evidence shows, if the water is cool, cats on dry food will drink three times more water

Finally, while reducing obesity in cats is important, reducing the diabetes that is associated with obesity can be life saving.