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Weight loss in multi-cat household?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
There are 3 cats in my household. Cleo is 3 years old, playful & active, and normal weight. Georgie is 7 years old, normally active, and slightly underweight. Bashas is 6 or 7, basically inactive, and obese. If there is any food left out in the bowl, Bashas eats it. I would like to help her get back to a healthier weight, but I'm not sure how to go about it. How do I put one cat on a restricted diet without making the other two suffer? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

A few more notes on the cats: Cleo & Georgie were raised as housecats and are both spayed females. Bashas raised at least three litters of kittens on the streets before I adopted her. She is now spayed and prefers to stay in the house. She is scared of all other cats (including Cleo & Georgie) and most people.
post #2 of 14
WHat are you feeding them????
post #3 of 14
Can Bashas jump very well? I've heard of some owners putting the food up high so it's very difficult for the obese cat to get to it, then you can control her diet more directly.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Oops, good question. This is definitely part of the problem. We're a multi-owner household as well, and there's some disagreement on correct feeding process. Georgie belongs to my mother. She (my mother) feeds all the cats canned food twice a day and keeps their dry food bowl always full. Georgie also gets table scraps (my cats have never learned to beg at the table, so they don't get those). Georgie doesn't gain weight on all the food she gets, but it's definately more than my cats need. Now mom's out of town for a few weeks, so I'll have better control of the feeding situation. Hopefully I will have a new system set up and going by the time mom gets home.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Good idea. Bashas has not been jumping well lately (I'm sure it's the weight). We could put the food up on the counter instead of underneath it, which would slow her down a bit.
post #6 of 14
Has Georgie had a vet visit? You said she eats well but is still underweight--this could be a sign of a medical issue. I've heard that the best way to get a cat to lose weight is to feed a canned only diet. I feed my heavier cat, Odo, canned only, and I put some dry food on top of my dresser where he can't get to it for Willow, who lost a bit of weight on canned only.
post #7 of 14
You can try meal feeding all of them. That way you can control how much each cat gets. They will adapt to it fast. I had to switch mine to meal feeding when Polly had to go on prescription food.
post #8 of 14
I adopted a (fat) cat years ago from a co-worker, and they had several cats in the house. She suffered from what I called competitive eating disorder.
After she came to my house with no competition, her weight normalized.

the jumping method sounds like a good plan, other than that I'd feed the chubby cat seperately so it doesnt feel like an eating contest.
post #9 of 14
Would something like this help? http://www.nekofeeder.com/ It's advertised on TCS's "sister site", Meowhoo.com.
An alternative is to put a cat flap requiring a magnetic key in the door to a small room or closet where you can leave out a bowl of dry for the cats requiring extra calories. That's fairly inexpensive.
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post #10 of 14
It is hard, but doable. I had two that needed to lose weight, and two that needed to put on weight - only got one to lose weight, but he was the more obese of the two, and the only one of the two that didn't go in other people's houses!! mainly wet food worked much better than Hills R/D, I also fed him at the top of the stairs so he had to run up and down them for his food, his supper was a very small amount of dry either thrown piece by piece, scattered over the front room floor (but from teh stairs, he ran up and down then!!) or in a treat ball. I never left food out, didn't free feed either. He lost just over 2kg despite being in a multi cat household.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
It is hard, but doable. I had two that needed to lose weight, and two that needed to put on weight - only got one to lose weight, but he was the more obese of the two, and the only one of the two that didn't go in other people's houses!! mainly wet food worked much better than Hills R/D, I also fed him at the top of the stairs so he had to run up and down them for his food, his supper was a very small amount of dry either thrown piece by piece, scattered over the front room floor (but from teh stairs, he ran up and down then!!) or in a treat ball. I never left food out, didn't free feed either. He lost just over 2kg despite being in a multi cat household.
Wow! that's a whole lot of weight off of one kitty!
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
Can Bashas jump very well? I've heard of some owners putting the food up high so it's very difficult for the obese cat to get to it, then you can control her diet more directly.
That is one trick that I use in my multi-cat household (there is always one plump cat around here).

I also put water bowls up high, as well as putting food, water and litter on different levels of the house so they have to climb stairs (not sure if you have that set up at your house).

Tall cat trees with enticements at the top also help them excercise. I put catnip toys up top, put the tree by a window so they want to climb up and look outside, and move them around to keep interest in them.

I free feed, but give them a special canned meal during the evening. My little porkers get a smaller portion than the thinner ones, and I don't leave any leftovers laying around for the large ones to continue to dine. Luckily I have dogs to clean off the plates for them so nothing goes to waste here.

Encourage any activity that makes her jump, climb, walk around, play, etc. Little things like encouraging her to jump on the sofa or bed for scritches.

If Basha came from a life on the streets, she is conditioned herself to eat food when available to her. Some cats never grow out of that habit, even when they live in an environment that acquiring food on a regular basis is no longer an issue to them. Poor little girl - traumatized by her previously hard life!!
post #13 of 14
I understand your problem completely. When I first got married my husband brought with him Ginger and Gracie, Gracie I have to say was a bit on the "fluffy" aka FAT side. I had Melody and Uno at the time. I had a hard time keeping Gracie out of everyones food, she loves food! Uno is still the smallest kitty we own weighing in at a mere 6 pounds. I hated to put them on diet food for fear Uno would melt away. I got the Iams Multi-Cat formula food- it worked GREAT!!! It is specially designed to make your fat one lose weight, while still maintaining a good balance so your lean ones keep fit and trim as well. After a 2 month switch Gracie was back down to a reasonable weight and I switched back to regular Iams. I switched mostly because I send you with this warning: it makes the litterbox VERY STINKY. I am not sure why, but as soon as I switched back I was greatly relieved. I would give it a shot for sure, and when the time comes, heaven forbid she should gain the weight back, I will put them back on the multi-cat formula.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
Wow! that's a whole lot of weight off of one kitty!
It was - that was over 14 months, but when he came, he was just short of 9kg, so the original plan was for him to lose 3kg, but after 2kg, it was obvious he couldn't lose another kilo. Think the total was 2.21 (or 2.12kg)!! And I had 6 cats the majority of the time!!
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