Feline Obesity Study

About half of the cats in the US are overweight, and just like in humans there are complications associated with obesity such as joint disease, so we’re ultimately interested in how to help manage obesity to prevent the number of pets that are obese and ultimately how to make the weight loss process easier for clients. We hear all the time that feline owners want the cats to lose weight because they understand how important it is to keep their cat an ideal body weight. However, they sometimes have trouble sticking to the diet plan. We wanted to find a way to gauge how owners perceive their cat’s quality of life during a weight loss plan. So, we partnered with collaborators at Purina to design a weight loss plan specifically looking at the impact of feeding method as well as an individualized weight loss plan on the success of weight loss in overweight cats. We kind of knew that he had a problem, but we didn’t know the extent of the problem. It wasn’t until we got here that we realized that we really needed to be taking action. Sophie was a rescue kitty from the animal shelter. About four years ago, she became more overweight and started having issues with her weight. We had gone to the vet a couple times and the vet came across the study, and she said, “Well, let’s try this.” I was really excited about the study because weight loss is something a lot of people struggle with with their pet, especially cats. So anything that can help people achieve their goals of weight loss in their animals is great. The obesity problem is rising in the human population and it’s also rising in our companion animal population. One of the owners, she started her weight loss plan with her cat. At Purina, we understand there are many factors involved in helping animals lose weight and helping their owners keep compliant in a weight loss plan for their pet. When Miko entered the study, he was 17.6 pounds, and now he is 14.02 pounds. When the doctor first told me about the study, she was 16 pounds, and now she is down to 10 pounds. His quality of life has definitely improved. He plays a lot more. He’s just a lot more active, kind of like how he was when he was a kitten. She is more playful, more active. He is also able to groom himself a lot more easily, too. Jumping on the bed was almost impossible. Now she can jump a lot higher than that. He’s just a happier cat. Yeah, I think overall just a happier cat. Overall, just a happier cat.

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