Research released today shows how modern day views and lifestyles are resulting in British cat owners treating their cats like humans. In 53% of cases, this means feeding their felines “people food” and unhealthy treats.

Research released today shows how modern day views and lifestyles are resulting in British cat owners treating their cats like humans.

Felix the Cat by J.edgeworth (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsThe survey of more than 1,000 cat owners, commissioned by NutriCat, revealed:

  • More than half (54%) of cat owners believe that their cat shares similar emotions to them;
  • A third say their cat is a better listener than their partner; and
  • 40% sign greetings cards from their cats.

Unfortunately, the report showed this humanisation also comes in the form of feeding felines “people food” and treats such as cake, crisps and even chocolate. In fact, more than half of owners surveyed (53%) give their cats treats and table scraps while 17% of owners admitted to feeding their cat extra food to make it happy.

Claire Bessant, CEO of the Feline Advisory Bureau (a charity dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of cats), said: “For many people, feeding is a time for interaction with their pet and a way to show love and affection. While modern complete cat foods provide all that a cat needs, owners often want to give more and end up not only feeding more cat food, but adding to the interaction opportunities by giving their cat scraps and treats as well.
 
Claire Bessant, CEO of the Felina Advisory Bureau.Obesity is as unhealthy for cats as it is for humans. Owners need to adjust what they feed to take into account all of the food the cat is given. While scraps or treats may seem small in human terms, they can be relatively large for cats. Sometimes treats are inappropriate foods which can be detrimental to cat health.”
 
The research forms part of a report, entitled How Modern Life is Affecting Our Cats’ Health, which examines how modern life can have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of our pet cats.

As well as humanisation, the report looks at how often owners took their cat to the vet. Only one third of owners surveyed said they took their cat to the vet once a year, while more than a quarter said they only take their cat to the vet when it’s unwell.
 
However, Ms Bessant said: “Since cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding the fact that they are unwell, owners need to be able to pick up subtle changes in their cats’ behaviour and take their cat to the vet if they feel something is wrong.”

 

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