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FOR many years we have known that being overweight or obese presents a health risk for cats, particularly for the development of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes mellitus (Nelson and others 1990, Panciera and others 1990, Appleton and others 2001), urolithiasis (Lekcharoensuk and others 2001, Lund and others 2005) and hepatic lipidosis (Armstrong 1989, Biourge and others 1994). In recent years, we have come to recognise that many older cats have osteoarthritis and it has also been shown in dogs that the age of onset, progression and exacerbation of clinical signs may be adversely influenced by a higher bodyweight (Kealy and others 2000). The same may be true in cats; one study showed that 10.7 per cent of cats with osteoarthritis were obese ( Clarke and Bennett 2006).
Despite growing veterinary interest and concern about obesity (German …
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