'Monitor cat food' intake to guard against fatty liver disease

Monday, 24th January 2011

Cat owners have been urged to monitor their pet's cat food intake to help prevent fatty liver disease, it has been claimed.

Fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic lipidosis, is one of the most common forms of liver disease in cats and generally occurs when an animal fails to eat for a short period.

Dr Bernhard Pukay, an Ottawa-based vet, expressed his belief that pet owners should be careful when putting their cat on a diet as it could lead to hepatic lipidosis.

"To prevent fatty liver disease, appetite should be carefully monitored whenever a cat is boarded or hospitalised or when a new diet is introduced," he told the Ottawa Citizen.

"If you plan to continue your cats on a weight loss program, their appetite should be closely monitored and calorie restriction should be done gradually, preferably with the supervision of a veterinarian."

Once a cat has begun fasting, the liver starts converting body fat into energy and excess fat accumulates in the liver, leading to health problems.