Public Release: 

Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition advances understanding of factors influencing body weight in cats

New research by the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition marks an important step forward in the fight against cat obesity

CNC (UK) Ltd.

13th June, 2011 - A collaborative team of researchers has shown that adding moisture to a cat's diet slows down the rate of weight gain. This finding, at least in part, appeared to be driven by increased activity. This research was conducted at the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition, the fundamental science centre supporting Mars Petcare brands such as WHISKAS® and ROYAL CANIN.

In a series of studies conducted in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, WALTHAM® scientists found that cats fed a dry diet with a total of 50 percent moisture had a slower rate of weight gain and were more physically active than those cats fed the dry diet alone containing 10 percent moisture. This is the first time a hydrated diet has been associated with a lower rate of weight gain and increased physical activity in cats.

"These findings advance our understanding of the factors that influence body weight in cats and provide a strong basis for further research," commented study author and WALTHAM® scientist Dr. Penelope Morris.

"Obesity is a growing problem in the cat population, recent figures indicate that up to 50 percent of cats are either overweight or obese," added Dr. Morris. "These findings could have important implications for developing feeding strategies for cats that modulate weight gain." This work also provides a clear rationale for including wet foods in a cat's feeding regimen as an easy way of increasing dietary moisture level.

WALTHAM® is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of companion animals. This research forms part of a wider programme of ongoing collaborative research into the effect of food and nutrition on body weight in both cats and dogs.

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The research has been published in the June edition (Volume 95, Issue 3) of the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition and is available in print and online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0396.2010.01107.x/abstract

About the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition:

The WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition is a leading scientific authority in pet nutrition and wellbeing and has been advancing the frontiers of scientific research into the nutrition and health of companion animals for nearly 50 years. Located in Leicestershire, England, the renowned state-of-the-art science institute focuses on the nutritional and behavioural needs of companion animals and their benefits to humans, enabling the development of innovative products which meet these needs in a practical way. WALTHAM® has pioneered many important breakthroughs in pet nutrition, and in collaboration with the world's foremost scientific institutes, supports leading Mars brands such as WHISKAS®, PEDIGREE®, NUTRO®, TRILL®, CESAR®, SHEBA®, KITEKAT®, AQUARIAN®, WINERGY® and the ROYAL CANIN brand.

About Mars, Incorporated:

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a "mutuality of benefits" for all stakeholders - this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.

Mars brands include: Chocolate - M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare - PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley - ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food - UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks - ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience -SERAMIS®, CIRKU™ and COCOAVIA™.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Abigail Stevenson, Head of Value Transfer, WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition
Tel: +44 1664 415 409
Email: Abigail.Stevenson@effem.com

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