Can spoiling your cat be harmful?

There was a time when spoiling your cat was treating it to a bowl of fresh milk and a can of tuna. These days are long gone, and today’s golden era feline companions are spoiled more than ever. Indeed, it has almost become an art to pamper your cat, catering to him or her with delicious, premium ingredient meals, deluxe sleeping amenities and almost as many toys, as there are stars in the sky. In other words: in today’s world, the intensity of spoiling one’s pet has risen to a level without boundaries, and one has to wonder if that is actually such a great idea.

Almost standoffish, and a great deal of the time absent, cats seem to develop a closer relationship to their owners when pampered. That is a wonderful sensation as long as the “spoiling” has limits and do not harm your furry friend. Take for example nutrition; with the abundance of the many different pet foods available today, obesity in pets has become quite common and the harmful side effects are often ignored, even if they may be quite visible.

The body of a healthy cat is proportioned, the ribs can be felt, and fat folds are not visible. Overweight pets have a noticeable paunch, a broader conformation and their ribs cannot be seen or felt. As for fat cats, they will also miss the “tuck” normally seen in front of the hindquarters.

With all the nutritional information available online, at veterinary clinics, pet stores, and grooming salons, there is no reason to overfeed a cat, or any pet for that matter. Outside of the obvious physical problems which can lead to a cat’s early demise, f at cats have an increased risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, and liver disease, diabetes, orthopedic problems, and even neurological problems. Because of the excess weight, overweight felines have trouble getting around, can’t jump and will be less playful.

Taking care of your pet is a necessity. On the other hand, too much attention is unhealthy and will allow your purring friend to develop unrealistic expectations. You see, a cat spoiled by frequent pats and rubs will begin to expect them, and that is all fine and dandy, until you are not in the mood or occupied by other activities.

Cats, like children, do need to understand that there are rules and boundaries, and that certain parts of the home, or specific activities, are off limits. If the cat cannot grasp these rules, then humans and their pet cannot function comfortably in the same household, and the feline may have to go. Luckily, cats are quick studies and usually pick up on these limits fast, and believe it or not, often do tend to abide by them, at least when you’re watching.