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Royal Canin studies new strategies for obese cats

New research conducted at the Royal Canin Research Centre in Aimargues, France looked at novel dietary strategies can improve the outcome of weight loss programmes in obese client-owned cats.

A randomised, single-blinded, positively controlled, field trial for weight loss in obese client-owned cats was undertaken to look at novel diets and dietary strategies that could improve owner compliance and, therefore, success of feline weight loss programmes.

Three dietary strategies were evaluated: strategy A used a novel dry high fibre ration; strategy B used ready-prepared portions of dry and moist food; strategy C used an existing commercial dry high fibre ration fed with a measuring cup. Cats were assessed at weeks 4, 12 and 20, and adjustments to the energy allocation made if required.

Mean weight loss at 20 weeks (A: 11.0+/-1.3%, B: 10.9+/-1.2%, C: 11.9+/-1.7%) and mean energy allocation (A: 31.0, B: 28.5 and C: 32.2kcal/kg of target body weight/day) were similar amongst strategies. However, owners' subjective hunger score was significantly (P<0.001) higher with strategy C than with strategies A and B. Further, owner satisfaction was lowest with strategy C, and more owners also regarded food allowance as insufficient with this strategy.

This research was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 2009 Aug 12.

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