We provide our cats with the best food, toys, and attention to prove how much we love them. Harmless fun? Perhaps, but what if it gets out of hand? Excess spoilage results in obesity, other health problems and poor-mannered pets, Andrea Dorn says, a veterinary technician in Nevada, Iowa.
Spoiling goes too far when you can look down on your cat from above and see a bulge instead of a waistline, says Jenny Doughty, a cat owner from Maine. Obesity body fat 20 percent beyond the normal tops the chart of feline nutritional disorders. Tubbiness also increases a cat’s risk for diabetes, arthritis, skin problems and lower urinary tract disease.
Cats meow to get what they want: Open the door, fill the bowl, pet me, play with me, give me a treat. When humans give in to feline demands, Kitty learns that meows work and repeat the offense.
Professional pet sitter and writer Karen Commings of Harrisburg, Pa., confesses that she created a monster. I got in the habit of giving Sparky some of my salmon, she says. Now, every time I cook, she sits and yowls for handouts. I have only myself to blame, but it’s really become annoying.
A sign of a spoiled cat would be a harried-looking person in the fast lane at the supermarket, buying nothing but six or more cans of the same flavor cat food, says artist, Laura Von Stetina of Pinellas Park, Fla.
Cats love being spoiled and we love spoiling them just keep spoilage within reason. Dena Harris of Madison, N.C., a champion cat-spoiler, knows where to draw the line. Spoiling goes too far when the cats get more presents at Christmas than we give each other, Harris says.