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Our animals are getting fatter, too

posted October 14th, 2013 by
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Did you know there is a National Pet Obesity Awareness Day? I didn’t either. I probably should since I am the proud owner of a pretty plump cat.

It’s no secret that Americans and their pets have been getting bigger in recent years, but  a recent report by Pro Publica reveals that it’s not just domesticated animals with expanding waistlines.

An international team of scientists has found that two dozen animal populations cared for by or living near humans have also been getting fatter over the years.

The study leads you to wonder if diet and lifestyle are really the biggest factors in obesity or whether the increasing number of chemicals found in our air, soil and water play a role as well.

My own cat Floyd is a great example of this problem. A once obese cat, he became diabetic and required insulin shots twice a day. After much research on the dietary needs of cats, I made some switches to how I fed him. He has since been in remission from his diabetes.

But even with quality food that is portioned out each day, he continues to be an overweight cat. I always blamed it on his laziness, but maybe all of the chemicals we put in our water have contributed to his problem as well.

Whatever the cause of obesity in pets, it is serious business that can cause many health problems down the road, as I have learned firsthand.

To learn more about pet obesity prevention or to participate in the 2013 survey, visit

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]