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Study Says Domestic Cats Consume More in Winter

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According to the study targeted on a group of 38 adult cats, which has lasted for four years, cats eat more food in the season of winter therefore, their owners should provide the pets with cat-food during this period of time.

In order to find the new way to enhance milk production, seasonal food intake by dairy cows has been tested in the past. However, this study involved in domestic cats is the largest of its kind so far.

The group of 38 cats coming from mixed breeds, ages and genders were kept at a center in France, where they were free to do whatever they preferred outdoors all year round.

With a microchip on their collar, the cats were able to get as much food as they needed from a dispenser, which would be opened just the group of cats. Simultaneously, such microchip could make a record how much food the cat had taken and when it did.

As Dr Alex German from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, explained in the paper paper published in the latest edition of PLoS ONE, like many humans, cats are likely to have comfort eating in the cold weather outside.

However, from their study, Dr Alex German and his team found the main reason for that is the extra energy cats needed to maintain warmness when they were outside for outdoor activities. In addition, Dr German’s team also confirmed that cats ate about 15 per cent less food during summer.

In his conclusion, Dr Alex German stated that the swing in activity levels during the year might be closely linked with the extra effort to maintain warmness in winter and the temptation to rest during hot days in summer.

So it is suggested that the amount of food the cats take at different times of year should carefully considered by their keepers, because it is important to allow cats to have a healthy weight.

Journal reference: Serisier S et al. 2014. Seasonal Variation in the Voluntary Food Intake of Domesticated Cats (Felis Catus). PLoS ONE 9(4): e96071. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096071

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