Fat Cat

Our furry little feline friends are growing more like us every day.  As we all know, pussycats spend a lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing.  Their daily schedule includes plenty of sleeping, eating as often as they are allowed to and if they are lucky a pat or two.

This idyllic life has apparently led to an epidemic of feline Type 2 Diabetes.  The Small Animal Medicine Department at the University of Queensland say that Type 2 diabetes is concurrent with the rise in obesity in Australian adults.  Now would be a good time to declare that despite not really being a cat person, I do in fact have a cat by the name of Napoleon and he has a weight issue.  He is a Cat Haven cat so we are not sure of his ‘pedigree’  but we do know that he is part crazy and part food obsessed.  He does have big bones too.

Cats are designed to do hunting and eat a diet high in protein and fat but many supermarket dry biscuits and canned wet foods contain too much carbohydrate and in fact more than 50% of the calories are often derived from carbohydrates. And of course, what about the other part of the equation, exercise.  How does one get a cat to exercise?  I have seen cats (okay, maybe two) being walked in the neighbourhood on a lead.  Napoleon is not one of those fitness fanatics and would rather take a chunk out of my leg than move his fluffy backside.

The latest figures put cat obesity rates at 35 percent, but they can lose weight and be treated successfully for diabetes with a change to their diet.  Dogs on the other hand, only get Type 1 diabetes and need daily insulin injections.

If you have a Burmese cat, look out.  They are about three times more likely to develop diabetes but domestic short-haired cats are also prone.

In Australia, one household in every four has a cat, so have a look around, does your cat need a health assessment?

Mr Weight Challenged

Bigger is not necessarily Better

Bigger is not necessarily better. In the world of Sumo at least. Last night, as I watched with my very own eyes, the Mongolian champion Hakuho manhandled his opponent Kotooshu to remain undefeated at Summer Grand Sumo. The champion was one of the smallest (relatively speaking) wrestlers there. What a cultural experience. Sumo wrestlers pretty much do the opposite to what we might do to lose weight. They eat lots and often and their speciality is “chanko” nabe, and chunk nabe has tons and tons of meat. In fact, that’s about half of what you put in there. There’s all kinds of meat; beef, pork, chicken, you name it. Plus there are noodles cooked in the broth. Supposedly, this is what sumo wrestlers eat to keep the bulk on. I have tried to avoid the ‘sumo’ diet while in Japan, which is pretty easy as the food here is divine. I have had my yearly dose of omega-3 fats from all the delicious raw fish and seafood, a flood of anti-oxidants from vats of green and oolong tea and a ton of essential iodine from ribbons of seaweed. There is much to be learnt from Japanese portion sizes, they are much smaller than what we eat in the Western world and they don’t eat between meals. There are no coffee or tea breaks either. One would think this is all helping assist the Japanese in having the highest life expectancy in the world. Lets hope Sake has some benefits too.