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Couch potato cat at risk of diabetes

OVERWEIGHT cats who spend most of their time on the sofa face a growing risk of developing diabetes, researchers in Scotland said.

Pampered fat cats are three times more likely to develop the potentially fatal condition than cats of a normal weight, according to a study by the University of Edinburgh.

”The lifestyle of cats, just like their owners, is changing,” said Professor Danielle Gunn-Moore, from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

”They are tending to eat too much, gain weight and take less exercise.”

”Many cats are housebound because they live in flats or because their owners think it is too dangerous to let them out,” she said.

”They have little to do all day but eat, sleep and gain weight,” she said. “Unfortunately, just like people, cats will overeat if they are offered too much tasty food, particularly if they are bored.”
One in 230 pet cats in Britain is diabetic, with male, neutered or overweight animals at greatest risk, the researchers said.

The number of diabetic cats in Britain is now nearly five times higher than the figure recorded in a similar US study in the 1970s, the research found.

The study, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, was based on an analysis of more than 14,000 cats and 760 questionnaires completed by owners.