Indoor confinement and physical inactivity rather than the proportion of dry food are risk factors in the development of feline type 2 diabetes mellitus

Vet J. 2009 Feb;179(2):247-53. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2007.08.035. Epub 2007 Oct 26.


With domestication and urbanisation, cats have transformed from being hunting animals that eat protein-rich prey into more sedentary animals that eat a carbohydrate-rich diet. It was hypothesised that a high intake of dry cat food and a lack of physical activity may play a role in the development of feline type 2 diabetes mellitus. Information on dietary history and physical activity of 96 cats with diabetes mellitus and 192 matched controls was collected retrospectively, using a telephone questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between questionnaire-derived variables and the development of diabetes mellitus. The energy percentage of dry food in the diet was not significantly correlated with the development of diabetes mellitus (P=0.29), whereas both indoor confinement (P=0.002) and low physical activity (P=0.004) were. The results indicated that the proportion of dry food in a cat's diet may not be an independent risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, whereas physical inactivity and indoor confinement are.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cat Diseases / etiology*
  • Cats
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / veterinary*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors