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C2009-31

Dear Christopher Cat

My cat Sugar has a soft sac hanging from her belly. The vet said it isn’t a tumor and not to worry about it. Will it get larger?

Christopher Responds

It sounds like Sugar may be carrying around more weight than she should. I suspect that belly sac is filled with fat.

If that’s the case, she’s not alone. In the U.S., 57 percent of cats are overweight or obese, an increase of 4 percent over last year.

The extra weight predisposes Sugar to diabetes, arthritis and musculoskeletal injury. In addition, she may be more likely to develop breathing difficulties, heart disease and cancer.

For ideas on how to help Sugar lose weight, visit www.petobesityprevention.com.

Dr. Ernie Ward, president of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, explains that most of us cats should eat about 180 to 200 calories per day. He lists the calorie content of common cat food products on his Web site.

He also suggests fun, easy ways to increase a cat’s activity level.

Finally, he offers guidance to help you know when Sugar has reached her goal weight -– and to help other animal lovers determine whether their pets are normal or overweight.

If you follow his recommendations, I’m sure Sugar will be as svelte and fit as I am very soon.

 

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