While the term “fat cat” may be cool, a literal chubby tabby is anything but. Aside from that fact that all that excess weight causes overheating, obese cats are at risk for many serious illness. Unfortunately, pet obesity has been on the rise in the past five years, according to Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance. In 2014, Nationwide members filed more than $54 million in pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity, a 10 percent growth over the past two years. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets to determine the following top 10 cat obesity-related health issues.
#1 – Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
Overweight cats are at the most risk for bladder and urinary tract disease, which plague your kitty and require frequent trips to the vet. According to the Nationwide database, this was the most common obesity related condition in cats,with more than 4,700 pet insurance claims. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $424
#2 – Chronic Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is one of the most common illnesses seen in all cats, not just overweight ones. However, being overweight can “accelerate and exacerbate kidney disease,” according to Dr. Eric Barachas, D.V.M. (www.drbarchas.com). Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $633.
#3 – Diabetes
Just like with people, diabetes and obesity go hand and hand with kitties. Unfortunately, many kitties get diabetes and it shortens their lives drastically. It can also be a drain on the owners financially. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $778.
#4 – Liver Disease
The liver is responsible for storing fat, among other things. When a cat gets overweight, the liver get overwhelmed with excess fat, which decreases function and can lead to disease. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $374.
#5 – Asthma
Cats that are overweight also develop asthma and other respiratory problems as the body tries to function with too much weight. And of course, since your cat now has trouble breathing, he is probably sitting more and moving less, which will just cause more weight gain. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $366.
#6 – Arthritis
The more weight your cat’s joints have to carry around, the worse their arthritis will be as they age. Keeping your kitty slim will help lower his chances of having painful joints later. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $182.
#7 – High Blood Pressure
No surprise that obesity causes high blood pressure! Being overweight causes your cat’s body to work harder and this is just one of the side effects. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $135.
#8 – Heart Failure
When your cat is overweight, his heart has to work harder to keep the blood pumping through this body. This can be a factor in heart failure, which no pet owner wants to go through. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $692.
#9 – Gall Bladder Disorder
Obesity in cats can also cause issues in the gall bladder as the liver gets compromised. If your cat requires surgery, only about 50 percent of them survive, according to the Animal Surgical Center of Michigan. Average cost to treat according to Nationwide – $346.
#10 – Immobility of Spine
We’ve all seen obese cats struggle to groom themselves, but for some cats, their access weight becomes an even bigger problem – limiting the mobility of their spine. For example, some cats may not be able to drop their tail, as the amount of fat they have blocks the vertebrae and forces them to carry it curled up from the base of the tail. (messybeast.com)