Researchers have accessed data on more than 19 million cats to reveal that most cats continue to put on weight as they age and that the average weight of cats is on the rise…
Believed to be the world’s largest survey into the bodyweight of domestic cats, researchers at Ontario Veterinary College, Canada, surveyed the electronic health records of more than 19 million cats in the US and Canada – spanning four decades, from 1981 to 2016 – to gain a picture of typical weight gain and loss over their lifetimes.
The findings reveal that even after cats mature from the kitten phase, their weight still creeps up until they are, on average, eight years old.
Lead author Adam Campigotto, along with Bernardo and Prof. Zvonimir Poljak, Department of Population Medicine, 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.
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.
For more information about the study and its findings click here.
Is your cat at a healthy weight? How can you tell? If your cat is overweight or obese, how do you safely achieve a healthier weight for them? Take a look at information from Obesity Awareness Week earlier in the year to find out more.