Sign in: Staff/Students
The study found cats eat approximately 15% less food during summer
Cats eat more during the winter and owners should give their pet more food during this time, University of Liverpool research has found.
Researchers from the University’s School of Veterinary Science, in collaboration with colleagues at the Royal Canin Research Centre in France, spent four years monitoring how much cats chose to eat, and found that food intake increased in colder months and decreased during the summer.
The 38 cats studied had a microchip on their collar which allowed them to take as much food as they wanted from a dispenser which only opened for them. At the same time, this microchip recorded how much the cat had eaten and when.
The study found that cats ate approximately 15% less food during summer, and the vets have concluded that the extra effort to keep warm in winter and the temptation to rest during hot summer days contributed to the swing in activity levels during the year.
The cats were all inhabitants of a centre in southern France where they were allowed to play and exercise outside all year round. The cats were of mixed breeds, ages and genders. Data on food was compared to the climate in the area using computer modelling to provide information about how the temperature changed over the year.
Seasonal food intake has also been examined in the past on farm animals, such as dairy cows, to establish new ways of increasing milk production, but this is the largest study that has yet taken place with domestic cats.
Dr German said: “People should consider the amount of food their cats need at different times of year as this can be part of helping them to maintain a healthy weight.”
The paper was published in the journal PLOS One.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
All recent news
Obituary: Ian Jobes
Summer Term Events Programme (STEP) – My review of week four
Blog: How science and society came together for the Events Research Programme
REMINDER: Module registation closes on Monday 10 May
Significant progress in lithium-air battery development
Our paper on immune responses to COVID vaccine (mostly Pfizer) in 237 healthcare workers, 124 #SARSCoV2 naïve and 113 previously infected, from the PITCH consortium @pitchstudy is out as a pre-print today.
See if you can spot us in the new @NetflixUK series, The Irregulars! 📽️
Our @VictoriaGallery appears in it, as well as other locations across the city including St George’s Plateau, the Palm House in Sefton Park and Falkner Street in the Georgian Quarter.
Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, author of 1985's Liverpool on the Brink, and Liverpool Beyond the Brink in 2019, analyses the Caller Report, the Gov's Best Value inspection into Liverpool City Council