Don’t Forget to Feed the Cat…Often

Anna Dudko/Thinkstock(URBANA, Ill.) -- It's the "graze" that pays for cats with weight issues.

In what might seem like a counter-intuitive move, scientists at the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science found that making food available to fat cats throughout the day with some meals that include dietary water can help them to lose weight.

With pets today going through the same epidemic of obesity as humans, animals experts warn that heavy cats are more susceptible to diabetes.

After conducting an experiment whereby cats were fed the same amount of dry kibble at one time or had it spread throughout the day so they could "graze," the felines appeared to lose weight when fed more frequently as it spurred greater physical activity.

The researchers said that cats moved around even more when exposed to a 70 percent hydrated diet that included an equal amount of kibble as the first experiment although this activity was more prevalent after eating.

Either way, lead researcher Kelly Swanson said the experiments prove that owners shouldn't worry about giving pets a small amount of food because their cats will survive just fine on that serving until the next feeding time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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