Obese Cats: Why Are They So Popular?Published November 18, 2011
In the majority of highly developed countries around the world, we are constantly bombarded with information about healthy diets. For people in the United States, "thin is in", accompanied with an emphasis on physical fitness, exercise, and proper diet. After all, those who are obese are at high risk for heart attacks, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions.
Knowing the health risks associated with being overweight, I got to wondering: why is it that there are so many folks who actually take great pride in the appearance of their obese cat?
While there are savvy cat lovers who are very careful about what they feed their kitties, some go to great lengths to publish their "porky" cat's photographs and upload videos to YouTube bragging about what educated and considerate cat lovers view as an "unhealthy" appearance. And after I watched several videos featuring "chunky cats" I was not surprised to observe that they all had very high numbered "hits."
Is it at all possible that these overfeeding owners are trying to enter their obese cats into some bizarre competition, or that they are trying to win the title of "The World's Fattest Cat" and set a Guinness World Record? I find it so hard to believe that these people are not at all aware that there is no disparity between feline and humane robust health. Do they just choose to shut their eyes and ignore their cat's obesity in preference to win some ridiculous title?
This is highly disturbing and upsetting to me. I just can't wrap my head around this behavior. If our two cats spend too much time hanging out on the couch watching ANIMAL PLANET, I get worried. If they are bored and somewhat depressed because I have not been paying enough attention to them, I take the hint and immediately self-correct. I don't free-feed them either. Boredom is one of the main triggers for the desire to over-eat, and over-eating can lead to having an obese cat.
Felines have very specific nutritional needs. They also require lots of fresh water available all the time, along with an appropriate amount of exercise which utilizes their caloric intake fully. Additionally, interactive exercise provides an excellent opportunity to develop deeper bonds with our kitties, especially for those of us who are not home all day. With the wide variety of fabulous toys on the market from which to choose, we can find toys that will entertain both our cats and their kitty-servants for hours on end.
At least the Oregon Humane Society that rescued Goliath, a stray obese cat who sought shelter in a Gresham garage, have put him on a weight reduction diet and had him neutered and vaccinated in preparation to find him a new forever loving home. For those not familiar with Goliath's story, he was a stray "flabby" tabby that had access to an infinite supply of kibble, and in turn ate himself into an obese state. He wound up being found stuck in a doggie door as a result of his weight.
Watch the video of Goliath, uploaded to YouTube by the Oregonian News, to catch sight of this pudgy pussycat who weighs in at over 22 pounds. Not so amazingly, the video has already received over 3,657,941 hits.
I still purrsonally don't understand the reason for obese cats' popularity, do you? How do you feel about fat cats? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.