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Smaller meals more times per day may curb obesity in cats
Date:2/20/2014

ee that small bowl of food and think there's no way they can survive on that but they can," Swanson said.

The key is figuring out how much food is needed to maintain your cat's healthy body weight.

"It is tricky because labels on pet food provide ranges for how much should be fed. If you're feeding a cat, that food is supplied to thousands of cats with different metabolism. Some are spayed or neutered, and ages are different," Swanson explained.

Adding water to dry food, or using wet canned food, may provide a greater gut fill to pets. Swanson also said once the dry kibble absorbs the water, it does look like "more" to the owner, perhaps alleviating the fear that the pet is not eating enough.

He added that rotating between dry kibble meals and wet or canned food could also help in maintaining body weight. Recognizing that the lifestyle of pet owners may not allow for regulating multiple feedings per day, Swanson said if a pet owner could even go from offering only one meal per day to two, it could possibly promote more physical activity.

"With cats, one of the tricky things is that few people can walk their cats. We haven't done studies looking at what happens if you are just in the room with the cat more often and how active you can encourage your cat to be by playing with it. There could be other strategies. From a diet perspective, this is something that is relatively simple," he said.


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Contact: Kelly Swanson
ksswanso@illinois.edu
217-333-4189
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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