A fat cat is not like a fat dog

Posted on February 18, 2016

Traditionally, we have treated a fat cat like a small dog when it comes to nutrition. This is to say, we often have fed low-fat, high-fiber foods to both species to try to decrease caloric intake while still allowing them to get the sense of a full tummy (and, therefore, keep them from harassing us with hungry meows). Many a fat cat has indeed lost weight this way. But there are some concerns. Cats are considered true carnivores (meat-eaters) as opposed to dogs who are omnivores (meat- and plant-eaters). Their need for carbohydrates is much lower than that of dogs; meat products by themselves are often adequate. A fairly recent theory that holds a lot of credence in my opinion is that the increased incidence of diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar) in cats has arisen because we have overfed high carbohydrate foods to cats. The pancreas, which produces insulin, essentially "wears out” from the workload, and then stops producing insulin. Insulin, which is necessary to transport glucose (sugar) into most body cells, is deficient in most diabetic animals.