Neutered Norwegian Forest cats tend to be more overweight than other purebred cats

There is a rather disturbing study on the Internet published October 12, 2011 which looked at the body weight of purebred cats, mainly, and also non-pedigree cats. In all there were a total of 539 purebred and 75 non-purebred cats in the study.

They found that intact cats i.e. cats that had not been sterilised were nearly always of the correct weight. There were only 7% of intact males and 3% of intact females that were overweight.

Overweight NFC?
Overweight NFC? It is desirable that the NFC is large but where is the line between being large because they are overweight and large because they are big boned?

Conversely, among the neutered cats they found that 50% of the males were overweight and 38% of the females were overweight. This to me indicates that males are more prone to become overweight after sterilisation than females. 

And further, it is disappointing to see this high figure of overweight neutered cats. It indicates that owners are not adjusting downwards their cat's diet after neutering which, as I understand it, lowers the metabolism rate.

Further, the Norwegian Forest cat, in this study, had the worst record in terms of being overweight when neutered. They found that 75% i.e. three quarters of neutered, male Norwegian Forest cats were overweight. They also found that 50% i.e. half of spayed, female Norwegian Forest cats were overweight.

The incidence of overweight sterilised purebred cats was low in respect of Siamese and Oriental shorthairs with 25% of males and 1% of females being overweight after sterilisation.

The authors of the report stated that, "The high incidence of overweight in neutered Norwegian Forest cats in comparison with cats without a pedigree but also in comparison with Siamese and Oriental shorthair cats is remarkable."

They decided that the difference between Norwegian Forest cats and the Siamese family of cats in terms of being overweight after neutering was sufficiently large to "suggest a cat breed disposition to overweight and leanness". What they mean is that Norwegian Forest cat might be predisposed to becoming overweight.

Alternatively, I would like to suggest that a more likely conclusion would be that owners of Norwegian Forest cats are more predisposed to overfeeding their cats because they consider them to be large cats.

Norwegian Forest cats are at the very top end of the weight scale for purebred cats. The biggest domestic cat is the Maine Coon but the Norwegian Forest cat is not far behind. And the slender Siamese cats encourage owners to keep them slender. Therefore, they are unlikely to overfeed them. Slenderness is part of their appearance. Whereas a robust and substantial appearance is part of the Norwegian Forest cat's image.

Note: the study is called: A pilot study of the body weight of pure-bred client-owned adult cats, and it is published by the Cambridge University Press: 12 October 2011.

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