Cat owners who overfeed their pets are slowly “killing them with kindness,” a Sussex vet has warned.

Marc Abraham, who practices at the Grove Lodge Vets in Southwick, has said that doting owners are causing their beloved moggies to suffer from heart disease, diabetes and even depression.

The warning comes after a Cats Protection survey revealed 70% of the pets were given special treats by their owners.

The Haywards Heath-based charity added that Christmas was a particularly bad time of the year for feline health with owners serving up Christmas dinner, chocolate, stuffing, and even Christmas pudding.

Mr Abraham, resident vet for BBC Breakfast, said: “I see overweight cats every single day. It is a real problem and needs to be brought to people’s attention.

“I’ve seen them up to 8kg or 9kg. They are supposed to be about 4kg.

“By feeding them treats people are killing their cats with their kindness. As a result they can suffer from everything from diabetes and arthritis to depression”

Too many treats

The charity’s survey, which questioned 1,120 cat owners, revealed that 28% of cats received a treat at least once a day.

Maggie Roberts, the charity’s director of veterinary services, said: “The survey shows Britain’s overweight cats continue to be fed too many treats, which owners principally do out of love, habit or a desire to make their cat feel like a member of the family.

“The survey also shows that it isn’t uncommon for cats to be given treats such as milk, chocolate or cheese. All of these could make cats quite ill.”

Mr Abraham added that it was vital owners stick to regular cat food and regular amounts. He said: “Giving treats is fine but it is always best to take them out the daily food allowance. If you have any problems or are not sure then book in to see your vet.”

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