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Feline obesity at all time high

Letter to the Editor encourages owners to help fat cats slim down

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May 9, 2013

(Lindsay Pollard-Post / The PETA Foundation)  Dear Editor:

In light of a recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention which found that cat obesity is at an all-time high—with 58 percent of cats overweight or obese—we should all take an objective look at our feline friends’ weight.

Obesity lowers animals’ quality of life and can lead to serious health problems including diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and cancer. It can also shorten their lives by years.

If your kitty needs to slim down, work with your veterinarian to create a feeding plan, and stick to it. Avoid feeding cats high-calorie processed treats—instead, try offering them melon pieces or mashed chickpeas.

Exercise is vital for cats’ health and well-being, so make time to get your cat’s heart and mind racing daily, using interactive wand toys, laser pointers, rolled-up balls of paper, or motorized “mice.” For their safety, cats should never be allowed to roam unattended, but some cats enjoy exploring the outdoors on a harness and leash (with their guardian at the other end).

For more ways to keep cats healthy and happy, check out 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You by Ingrid Newkirk, available at, and visit

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