Researchers at Canada’s Ontario Veterinary College analyzed the electronic veterinary health data of over 19 million cats and found that not only do cats tend to put on weight as they age, but they also have been getting fatter over the past few decades.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that a cat’s weight will gradually increase until it is around 8 years of age.  Male cats tend to be heavier than females, and spayed/neutered cats tend to be heavier than unaltered cats.

Purebred cats reach their peak weight between 6 and 10 years of age, while non-purebred domestic cats peak at 8 years.

The mean weight of cats has increased overall from 1995 to 2005.  However, weight has held steady between 2005 and 2015.

Researchers note that many cats in the study had only one weight on file, suggesting that regular vet visits where weight is taken are uncommon for many pet cats.  They say that cats can be overlooked when it comes to health studies because they go to the vet less frequently than dogs.

In an article on the study, the researchers urge owners to monitor their cat’s weight regularly, including at-home weigh-in sessions.  They note that unusual weight loss or gain can be a sign of a serious underlying health problem.

Check out this video on the study here!


10 thoughts on “Large-Scale Study Finds Cat Obesity is on the Rise

    1. They can get addicted to treats, that’s for sure! I’m also wondering if–ironically–more responsible cat ownership is also contributing. We are spaying/neutering more and also keeping them inside more. Or at least we should be!

  1. People need to take a good hard look at the food they are feeding their cats. If it is mostly carbs get rid of it. Cats are obligate carnivores. And the eat as you go contraptions that make it easy on pet owners but make for a fat cat, throw those out. Cats need supervised feedings especially when you have more then one cat. I have one cat, Charlie, who was stress eating and due to me being so busy with 2 dying cats and taking care of them, didn’t realize it until he was wayyyyyy overweight. Today he’s down by 1.5 pounds and looking better then he has in a very long time. I’ve also switched to raw food which is making a huge difference. Now, not all cats are suited for raw. Two of mine with sensitive stomachs and other health issues, cannot eat the raw. We animal parents must take a more firm responsibility when feeding our cats. They do not get enough exercise as it is ….. I would love to be able to let my cats run outside. That however, is not safe to do. So with that, I have towers and made my house cat friendly for them to jump and run in wide open spaces. I’m always very closely observing what they are doing and how they are looking. Obesity as in humans, comes with it a whole lot of health problems.

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