Britain’s Cats Suffer from Obesity

September 23, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. feline /ˈfi laɪn/ (adj.) – referring to cats and their characteristics
ExampleFeline obesity is a growing problem in some developed countries.

2. lameness /leɪmnəs/ (n.) – refers to a weak, crippled, or disabled manner of walking
Example: The dog showed lameness after it was run over. 

3. diabetic /ˌdaɪ əˈbɛt ɪk/ (n.) – a person who suffers from diabetes
Example: The pet owner found out that his dog was diabetic.

4. pose /poʊz/ (v.) – to cause problems or trouble
Example: Unhealthy diet can pose several health problems to cats.

5. take in /ˈteɪkˌɪn/ (v.) – to be allowed to enter
Example: Street dogs were taken in a shelter for medication.


Read the text below.
The alarming increase in weight of Britain’s cats urged the launch of a new feline diabetes clinic in the country.

Just like their owners, overweight cats can acquire many serious health conditions such as diabetes, liver problems, arthritis, lameness, and even skin problems. These conditions are mainly caused by an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise.

Dr. Stijin Niessen [STEE-jin NEE-suhn], who runs the newly launched Feline Diabetic Remission Clinic in Hertfordshire [HAHR-ferd-sheer], said that indoor cats are more likely to suffer from obesity than cats that regularly go outside. Cat owners today give tastier high-calorie food to their pets. As a result, cats today are heavier by 25 percent than cats a decade ago. In addition, cats are now four times more likely to become diabetic.   

Interestingly, the genetic makeup of cats is still the same as when they hunted for prey in the wild. The difference, though, is that the genes that helped them store energy until their next meal have now made them prone to diabetes. According to 100 blood samples from cats examined by Niessen, Burmese cats are commonly more affected by obesity than other cat breeds. He also found that, like in humans, diabetes in cats is most likely to occur in middle or old age.

In order to treat this disease, regular insulin injections and low-carbohydrate diet are needed. However, diabetes can pose other health problems that can cause death. 
Meanwhile, a cat named Titan was crowned as the fattest feline ever taken in the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London. This morbidly obese cat weighs 22 pounds — more than twice above the recommended weight.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think cat owners feed their pets so much?
·         How do you think should they take care of their pets’ health?

Discussion B

·         What are the advantages of having a pet? Please explain.
·         What do you think should be done to pet owners who neglect and mistreat their pets? Kindly explain.

September 23, 2014