A growing number of American Veterinary Medical Association members are recommending a "Catkins" diet for pet owners to help their overweight cats lose weight.
According to one veterinarian's website, the Catkins diet involves providing a wet diet for cats, rather than feeding dry kibble. “(Cats) have a better chance at optimal health if they are fed a wet food diet instead of dry kibble,” says the veterinarian, Lisa Pierson.
The Catkins diet may help obese cats not only lose weight, but also may aid with a variety of health problems that cats may develop from not having enough moisture in the diet. Pierson says that in the wild, a cat's typical prey contains 70 percent to 75 percent water, which is similar to the moisture content of many wet cat foods; however, she says dry cat foods typically contain only 10 percent moisture.
Another veterinarian, Dr. Travis Einertson, also recommends the Catkins diet and wet foods for obese cats. He says that while these wet cat foods can cost more than a dry petfood, lower-cost brands with a label that says the food is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials are just as good. Einertson also says that some pet owners do not feed wet food because of the belief that dry food is better for the cat's teeth or because wet food is messier than a dry food. But, he says that research has shown the belief to be a myth, and that the tradeoff for the cat's health is worth it.
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