Obesity and colour - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Obesity and colour

Very odd question but has there been any research into any possible relationship between cat colours and a tendency to obesity?

I have four cats (five if you could the abandoned mother who is being spayed on Monday and will be kept if she settles down). Only one of them is fat.

Lottie was overweight when I first got her from the shelter and, although she has lost some weight, she is still larger than the others.

I didn't think much beyond individual metabolism since the vet said there was no underlying problem but recently I was back at the Shelter for an open day. I couldn't help but notice that the few obese cats they had were all predominantly white with black patches - the same as Lottie.

Maybe this is just an odd coicidence ut it did arouse my curiosity.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 05:10 PM
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I would think the only way colour would be linked with weight is in specific breeds (e.g. I think Bombay's cane become overweight more easily).

However, in a local shelter, I wonder what the odds are that there's some fatty White-with-Black tom wandering around the neighborhoods making kittens?
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 08:42 PM
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I don't think color is related to obesity, but diet and activity level is. You overfeed, they gain weight.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 09:22 PM
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I've seen two obese cats in person and they were both black/white.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 09:46 PM
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Absolutely not...it's all about how much they're fed in relation to their activity level.

But here's a possible theory....Shelter cats, especially those who have been there for a long time, tend to be overweight...they are typically free fed a low quality dry food diet and sit in cages or are confined to small rooms so they don't get any exercise. They eat out of boredom.

Combine that with black and black & white cats being the most difficult to get adopted, therefore spending more time in shelter and that might account for seeing a lot of overweight black & white cats in the shelter.


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 09:50 PM
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That's like saying all blondes are busty or all brunettes are obese.....
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 10:02 PM
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Can't say I've ever noticed a tendency of black/white cats to be overweight. It think it's related to the type of food (dry kibble as opposed to canned or raw), activity level, and appetite. The fattest cat I've ever owned was a blue tabby Manx who didn't have a stop button on his appetite. If there was food out he would eat it until it was gone. I had to resort to confining him by himself for his meals, and gave him specific portions to keep his weight in check. He was quite active as well and at that time neutered and was an indoor/outdoor cat, and was a very good hunter.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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The possibility of the local Tom is an interesting one as seeral of them had very similar patterning.

I don't think it's as simple as a question of diet in the shelter. They normally have about 100 + cats there. Admittedly some of these were not visible on the Open Day that got me thinking, but I also go there when it is closed to the general public. There were plenty of tabbies on show and not one plump one.

They feed mainly wet and raw feed (they have an arrangement of some sort with a fishing fleet) and when we had Lottie she was in a single pen with a dietary plan pinned up. As she wasn't a cat we had come to see (just in the same row as one), it certainly wasn't an effort to impress. Several of the fatties were among those who had free run of the site rather than being in pens and so should have had more opportunity for exercise than the slim-line ones in pens.

Last edited by Arianwen; 06-14-2012 at 03:53 AM. Reason: I made a lot of typos - not unusual, unfortunately!!
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowMow View Post
That's like saying all blondes are busty or all brunettes are obese.....
I didn't suggest that all white and black cats were obese - I asked if any research suggested a predispoition in that direction - simply because my observations in one place made me curious.

Apparently research in humans has suggested that red haired people are more likely to be left handed! Even in people there can be apparently bizarrre patterns without them being anything like universal.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 02:24 PM
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No, I've never seen or heard of any studies to do with obesity and black and white cats. I know that there are some breeds/animals that are prone to certain diseases, but as most black and white shelter cats would likely just be mixes of random breeds, I don't really see anything too common there.

I think the fact that they are shelter cats would more likely have something to do with it. Also, the longer animals are not active, the less they burn. If they were strays before being put in the shelter, that could have something to do with it as well. My grandmother took in a lot of strays throughout several years, and a lot of them tended to eat whatever they saw; they didn't have an off button. We always suspected it was because with being strays, they never knew when or how much they'd be able to find to eat, so to them like a survival thing - even after having a home for years. So if you mix that with being cooped up for possibly months, that could definitely contribute.

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Last edited by Poetess; 06-14-2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: typo
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