According to a recent study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, no, your cat won’t hold it against you. It has been assumed that many pet owners believe that their pets may become less affectionate and beg more often if placed on a diet. However, researchers have found just the opposite. The majority of the cats became more affectionate after feedings, even when their food was restricted. Owners of the cats on the study reported that initially, there was an increase in begging behavior but that over time, the begging declined. Owners reported that on a restricted diet, there was an increase in their cats’ purring and more of a desire to sit in the owners’ laps.
Obesity in pets is on the rise. A survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity found that in 2015, 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats were reported to be overweight. Like in humans, obesity can have serious health consequences. If your vet has spoken to you in the past about putting your pet on a diet, but concerns about hurting your pet’s feelings have prevented you from following your vet’s recommendations, now there is scientific data to show you have nothing to worry about. Your best friend will still love you, even on a restricted diet!