There are many cats in the UK that have weight problems. Overweight cats have problems due to a lack of exercise and a poor diet. Pet owners are being encouraged to ‘skip the treats and hit the streets’ by the PDSA, who have just launched their own Pet Fit Club pet slimming contents. The club is excellent news as the charity’s PAW report found out the following:
- 5.7 million pets are fed treats each day
- 2 million of those pets are cats
- The treats include foods that are dangerous for pets including cheese, chips, crisps, takeaways and cakes
- 1.5 million cats are given leftovers and/or table scraps as their main meal
The report also revealed the reasons why pet owners give their pets treats, here are the reasons given:
- Just under 50% said they think the treats make their pets happy
- 27% said it makes themselves feel good
- 13% give pets because their pet begs for the treats
Many human foods are bad for us, so it makes sense that they are also bad for our pets. They’re high in sugars and fats so they cause damage to teeth and increase weight gain. There are also human foods that are toxic and can be fatal for pets, such as chocolate and grapes.
The PDSA is also concerned about the lack of exercise. 440,000 cats don’t have daily exercise, another cause of obesity and weight gain. The charity estimates that a quarter of UK cats are now obese or overweight. Their new Pet Fit Club campaign is designed to help pet owners make changes that will improve the lives of overweight pets. The PDSA are going to pick 15 pets (dogs, rabbits and cats) to take part in the 6 month programme that will focus on diet and exercise. The diet will be tailored to the pets and be overseen by the vets and nurses at the PDSA. If you have an overweight pet and want to apply, you can do so by visiting www.pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub. Application forms are also available from the PDSA shops and pet hospitals. Applications are open until March 5, 2017.