Experts Recommend Swiss Fat Cats Hunt For Their Food
Veterinarians in Switzerland are concerned with the growing problem of ‘fat cats.’ According to new research, 20-40% of pets, cats in particular, are overweight.
Veterinarians in Switzerland are concerned that indoor cats are not given enough incentive to move around as kept pets, and much like humans, even turn to eating to defeat boredom. Martina Schybli is a Swiss vet who recommends the elimination of fixed feeding stations for pets, which will make them ‘work for their food’ by looking for it or even getting it out of rolling food containers as if they were ‘hunting it.’
It’s somewhat easier for owners to give dogs exercise, as increased walks and runs can often help in weight reduction. But for a cat, experts recommend against leashing for walks as it may stress them and make them anxious.
Because a majority of Swiss residents rent apartments, indoor cats as pets are common. In fact, the most popular pet in Switzerland is a cat, and the Zurich Animal Protection Association (ZAPA) recommends that owners have at least two pets so they are not lonely and can keep each other occupied. Swiss animal protection laws specifically say that one cat households are not allowed to keep the cat indoors all the time, and must allow access to outdoor space at least five days a week to help them get out and not be bored. Additionally, the law specifies that indoor cats have contact with either their owners or other cats every day.
The ZAPA also suggests that owners who give their cats games that appeal to their hunting instincts may help reduce the obesity problem as well.