While cute and cuddly, feline obesity is a significant health problem among pet practitioners. Nutritionists are finding a way to help cope with this problem using probiotics. On the way to finding new approaches, nutritionists experimented with using probiotics to assess the food intake in cats.
Probiotics have long been used for health purposes. Primarily we use probiotics to improve bowel functions in the body. They exert several health benefits on the gastrointestinal (GI) system. At the same time, they are frequently being used to treat diarrhea and chronic GI diseases.
When to worry about your cat getting fat
Comprehensively explaining, we consider feline obesity as an above average increase in body weight of 20% or more. Among domestic cats, veterinarians frequently observe this issue. Veterinarians address this issue seriously because the adverse impacts of a cat being overweight are severe. Its clinical signs are apparent, and, as a cat parent, you should not show a carefree attitude when your cat is getting fat (not matter how cute they are).
Related: PET OBESITY: 4 MISTAKES MADE BY OWNERS OF FAT PETS
In itself, this condition has severe implications for your cat’s quality of life. Normal feline life activities, including physical activities, become impaired and their life quality is compromised. A significant increase in weight also makes the cat prone to severe disorders. Among several diseases, feline osteoarthritis and UTI are the most common and destructive.
Health issues brought on by feline obesity
Among the more concerning health issues brought on by feline obesity are:
- Cystitis (inflammation of urinary organs or UTI)
- Hip dysplasia
- Cardiovascular disorders
Unlike osteoarthritis in cats which is a degenerative disease of joint cartilage, synovial membrane and bone, feline arthritis is brought on by the inflammation and is avoidable. Arthritis becomes very devastating as it progresses because joint cartilage is the protective layer to prevent the moving bones from wear and tear. Arthritis in cats is a painful and a typical result from prolonged obesity.
Further, cystitis (inflammation of the urinary organs) is more common in fat cats. In most cases, this condition presents itself as a urinary tract infection (UTI) which is both painful for the cat and inconvenient to their human caretakers.
An overweight cat may also suffer from hip dysplasia in which the femoral head does not fit properly in the socket of the hip bone. Hip dysplasia exerts severe implications on the quality of life of a cat.
Diabetes Mellitus is also prevalent among obese cats in which the body does not produce or respond to the hormone insulin responsible for the regulation of blood sugar. And lastly, cardiovascular disorders are common among obese cats.
Which cats are at risk of being fat?
Several risk factors contribute to obesity in cats. Among all, very common factors include cats with reduced physical activity and long-term sleeping habits. Typically, the indoor confinement of domestic cats is the leading cause of obesity as they don’t find the opportunity to release their energy as a cat would normally do so in the wild.
It's also observed that neutered/spayed cats are more likely to gain weight compared to intact cats. And among them, neutered tomcats are more likely to becomes obese than spayed females. While spaying/neutering your cat is the sensible and responsible thing to do, just understand that this can contribute to your cat putting on weight.
With all these risk factors at play, it's no wonder that fat cats have become more common than not.
Improving Cat Obesity with Probiotics
To cope with this issue, nutritionists devised a study to check the efficiency of probiotics for overweight cats. This study was designed to be performed on 20 cats. Results from this study showed trends similar to the results of a study conducted on mice and humans. Probiotics were found effective to reduce food intake. Along with reducing food intake, probiotics are effective in improving metabolic profiles and promoting weight loss.
Using a quality probiotic concentrate, like Probiotic Miracle®, may make life for your cat a little easier just by adding it to their food once per day. This beneficial GI flora benefits his immune system, while bringing beneficial effects of weight regulation and gastrointestinal regulation when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.*