IF YOUR CAT IS HUNGRY IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO FEED IT!
Animal obesity in the majority of cases is a direct result of us the owners not understanding animal behaviour properly.
Feeling hungry is a normal physiological process, it is a natural reflex which then gets the animal and us to become active and go in search of food.
With cats this hunger drives them in the wild to go hunting, cats will hunt and in 70% of cases be unsuccessful. What this means is that the animal expends a large amount of energy before it is successful. In the wild this has various functions, this ensures that there is survival of the fittest and also the animals stay healthy and fit.
So what when we domesticate cats? As a general rule when we have a pet and they ask for food we feed them. Pretty much the same as we do with ourselves, this then has the knock on effect of resulting in obesity and all the associated problems that come with that. Obese cats are prone to many illness , diabetes , liver problems , poor skin condition , poor cardiovascular problems , dermatitis , skin allergies etc
So what should be do when a cat ‘demands’ food? At this point you should not feed your cat , this is time to interact with the animal, it will be active, it will move around , will be more likely to play . In most cases it might even be a bit annoying and interact directly with you to encourage you to feed it. This is the best time to burn some calories and stop your cat becoming overweight, the long term benefits for a young cat in keeping the weight off are enormous.
With dogs it is a very similar situation, but not identical as dogs physiology is different. Cats should feed little and often, they are primarily hunters, dogs are different, they can go days without feeding after a large feed without any deleterious side effects, cats can’t do this, a cat that doesn’t eat for 3 days will start to develop hepatic problems.
Thankfully for our pet cats we don’t have survival of the fittest and we can keep them fit and healthy for many years, but feed them with common sense and interact with them more, they will be healthier and live a longer life for us to enjoy with them.