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Study shows adult cats continue to gain weight

A new study across Canada and the United States suggests cats continue to put on weight after they reach adulthood. The study also found that their heaviest weight is higher now than it was two decades ago. The data showed cats' average weight reached its peak between six and 10 years of age for the most common purebred breeds and at eight for domestic cats. Male cats generally hit higher weight peaks than female cats, and cats that were spayed or neutered tended to be heavier than those that weren't. The findings, which involved more than 19 million cats, showed a difference of about one kilogram between age one and the peak. As well, the average weight of neutered, eight-year-old domestic cats rose about 1/4 of a kilogram between 1995 and 2005 and then remained steady for the next decade. Some possible, untested explanations for the shift include that more people may have begun to keep their cats indoors in that time period or that changes were made to the palatability of cat food, or in pet owners' feeding behaviours. Researchers say the study's findings can help vets discuss health issues related to weight with cat owners. They added that more work is needed to explore the links between cats' body weight and various conditions.

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