News last update:6 Aug 2012

Dry biscuits turn cats into obese pets

New research into cat food suggests that feeding dry cat biscuits may be to blame for feline obesitas.

The ease and convenience of dry cat biscuits heightens the risk of owners perpetually topping up the dish and overfeeding their pet, says researcher Dr David Thomas, director of Massey University's Centre for Feline Nutrition in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Dr Thomas says cats are naturally designed to eat several small, protein-packed meals a day. The study, which set out to establish whether there is any link between dry food consumption and weight gain in cats, found that those fed solely on dry biscuits got plumper but lost weight once they changed to a wet, or canned food diet. Cats ate less and felt fuller more quickly eating canned food because it contained more water. "It's harder to overfeed wet food than dry," says Dr Thomas.

The findings of the cat study will be presented at a major nutrition conference at the University's Auckland campus, which will be held on December 5-7. Most of the 300 papers from New Zealand and overseas researchers attending the joint New Zealand and Australian Nutrition Conference deal with human nutrition. A session on animal nutrition includes the latest studies on nutrition for goats, calves and sheep.

Related news:
Diabetes to become number 1 cat disease   
UK pet insurance warns for obesity 
FDA warns about additve for obese pets

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Massey University

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