Lilly Piri, 33 of Brisbane, at home with her tubby cat Coco, who weights in at 8kg. Picture: Liam Kidston
Lilly Piri, 33 of Brisbane, at home with her tubby cat Coco, who weights in at 8kg. Picture: Liam Kidston

How we are shortening our pets’ lives

THEY may be cute, but chubby pets could be risking major health problems, and it seems Queenslanders are falling behind when it comes to helping them.

The Sunshine State ranked the worst in the country for keeping tabs on pets' weight, according to a new study which showed nearly half of Australian felines are overweight or obese.

Only 22 per cent of Queenslanders were aware of their furry friends' weight problems, while less than a third weighed their cats at home, both the lowest figures in the country.

Animal Welfare League Australia spokeswoman Dr Simone Maher has been a vet for 18 years and said overweight cats were becoming more common.

Cuddly Coco the cat needs to lose some weight. Picture: Liam Kidston
Cuddly Coco the cat needs to lose some weight. Picture: Liam Kidston

"It's something that we think about increasingly in humans as a foundation of good health and it's important we transfer that thinking to our pets as well," she said.

Dr Maher encouraged owners to follow the feeding guides on pet food and to keep pets busy while they're home alone.

Three-year-old Coco currently tips the scales at 8kg and Brisbane owner Lilly Piri, 33, said she has been using weight management food to help Coco shed the extra weight.

"We got Coco as a rescue (cat) about a year ago, and she was chubby," she said. "We want her to live a long, healthy and happy life and she gets exercise chasing her bird toy and running up and down her tunnel."

Cat owners are also being encouraged to talk to their vet as part of Novem-purr, a month-long national health initiative by AWL and Purina One to improve animal health.