According to a recent study out of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, cats are steadily gaining weight well into adulthood as a whole. As a result, your neutered, domesticated cats' weight has increased over the past 20 years. Hopefully, these disturbing findings will open the eyes of cat owners across the globe, so that feline obesity is no longer an epidemic. Via: Cole and Marmalade
To conduct their research, University of Guelph researchers developed a groundbreaking study.
This gave them direct access data on more than 19 million cats! They then used this to get a picture of typical weight gain and loss over their lifetimes. The authors then cross-analyzed 54 million weight measurements which produced a baseline of information into what a healthy cat's weight should be throughout their life cycle.
Many of us have assumed that cats stop gaining weight once they reach maturity. However, this study uncovered the truth.
On average, they are slowly but steadily gaining weight until they reach eight years of age. "As humans, we know we need to strive to maintain a healthy weight, but for cats, there has not been a clear definition of what that is. We simply didn't have the data," says Professor Theresa Bernardo in a statement related to the research. "Establishing the pattern of cat weights over their lifetimes provides us with important clues about their health".
Other key points of the weight study include:
1. More times than not, male cats will reach higher overall weights than their female counterparts. The spayed/neutered cats pack on the most pounds over the course of their lifetime.
2. Among the four most common purebreds (Maine Coon, Siamese, Himalayan, and Persian) these cats will reach their heaviest weights from 6-10 years of age.
3. Other breeds of cats (purebreds not listed above included), typically reach their heaviest weight at eight years of age.
But the biggest finding of all was this:
The average weight of an eight-year old neutered domestic cat rose by just over half a pound between 1995 and 2005. This has remained steady through 2015. So no, "fat cats" aren't just becoming the norm.