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Curbing feline obesity by offering smaller more frequent meals

  • March 21, 2014 1:11 PM EDT

    Wondering your thoughts on this article recently reported in "Medical News Today" on 2/25/14:


    Researchers from the University of Illinois interested in finding a method to maintain healthy body weight in cats, looked at a previously suggested claim that increased meal frequency could help to increase overall physical activity.

    The idea is to feed cats the appropriate amount of food needed to maintain a healthy body weight, but to offer it in more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day.

    Animal sciences researcher Kelly Swanson and his lab at U of I determined that both increasing the frequency of meals fed per day, as well as offering meals that contained added dietary water - "neither method involved decreasing the overall amount of daily food intake" - did promote more physical activity among the cats in the study.

    "I think veterinarians will be interested in this information because it gives them evidence to be able to recommend something to pet owners that could help with feline obesity and diabetes," Swanson said. "When cats are allowed to feed ad libitum, it's difficult to prevent obesity. It is important to identify the right diet. Many owners are accustomed to dumping a pile of food out for multiple cats, just once per day.

    Full article:  Curbing feline obesity by offering smaller more frequent meals