The researchers at U of G's Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) discovered most cats continue to put on weight as they age, and their average weight is on the rise.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, reveal that even after cats mature from the kitten phase, their weight still creeps up until they are, on average, eight years old.
Research - Kind - Data - Pool - Baseline
This research -- the first of its kind to use such a large data pool -- provides important baseline information for vets and pet owners about cat weight changes, said Prof. Theresa Bernardo, the IDEXX Chair in Emerging Technologies and Bond-Centered Animal Healthcare.
"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," said Bernardo. "Establishing the pattern of cat weights over their lifetimes provides us with important clues about their health."
Author - Dr - Adam - Campigotto - Bernardo
Lead author Dr. Adam Campigotto, along with Bernardo and colleague Dr. Zvonimir Poljak, analyzed 54 million weight measurements taken at vets' offices on 19 million cats as part of his PhD research. The research team broke down the data to stratify any differences over gender, neutering status and breed.
They found male cats tended to reach higher weight peaks than females and spayed or neutered cats tended to be heavier than unaltered cats. Among the four most common purebred breeds (Siamese, Persian, Himalayan and Maine Coon), the mean weight peaked between six and 10 years of age. Among common domestic cats, it peaked at eight years.
Team - Weight - Cats
As well, the team noted that the mean weight of neutered, eight-year-old domestic cats increased between 1995 and 2005 but remained steady between 2005 and 2015.
"We do have concerns with obesity in middle age, because we know that can lead to...
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