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confession: my cat is fat

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
After reading the thread about the morbidly obese cat, I must confess that I have a very overweight cat. Catbutt is a big cat (big head, big paws), but he shouldn't weigh 18 lbs. I have had him on Nutro MaxCat lite dry food for many years (he is about 11 years old). I feed him a scant 1/4 cup of food a day (with Metamucil sprinkled on top to bulk up his stool and make him feel more full). We've also tried to increase his activity level by playing, or making him run up and down stairs for a treat. He hasn't gained any weight, but he hasn't lost any either. Now this forum has inspired me to be more proactive about Catbutt's weight.

I would like to know what dry food you recommend for a cat like Cat Butt. Thanks to everyone in advance for your advice!
post #2 of 20
The most important thing is that you are taking steps to help him live a healthier life

I would suggest you ask your vet what the best food would be for him (as he/she knows his medical history)

Some cats are larger than others...take for instance Maine Coon's, they are so big that 18 pounds would not be overweight for them, so your kitty may not be morbidly obese at 18 lbs depending on his structure.

The biggest thing you can do to help with the weight though is no people food....some of us are suckers when it comes to the sad "puppy dog eyes" our kitties give us be we just have to say no.
post #3 of 20
Like Tracy said, some cats are naturally (and healthily) bigger than others so it is best to consult a vet.

If you feed a cat on a diet too little food it can in fact cause them to gain weight (their body goes into starvation mode and stores all the food it can) as well as cause other problems.

Some cats don't do well on lite foods as they are just fillers but they don't get the nutrients they need and like I said above, their body goes into starvation mode.

Exercise is good though!

Is it possible to feed him wet food? (I know it isn't possible for all cats, two of mine can't/won't eat wet foods)
post #4 of 20
You need to see a vet ... but a personal observation a senior cat food at this age is going to help more than a light ... Currently you are feeding lots of carbs with that added metamucil ... a senior will have lower protein and in a dry for a older cat that is a good thing ... it will have more fat but that actually helps in wt control
post #5 of 20
A few years back we lost a cat I think due to obeasity. He was'nt enormous but he was big. He just fell over dead one morning. Years before this incident we had discussed how to feed the cats but nothing good ever became of the conversations. We allways free fed them off the shelf dry food and they ate all day. Today we have new cats and I vowed to keep an eye on this problem. I must admit I find it tough to come up with a routine that I know is working.
post #6 of 20
There is a big difference between 18 lbs and 32 lbs. And as has been already said, the important thing is that you are trying to help your cat live healthier.

On Metamucil; it's just fiber but probably not the best choice for fiber. Fiber is excellent for weight loss but there are better choices. What it does is metabolize slower and therefore gets used as energy slower and keep you fuller. But a better choice for a cat may be to get fiber elsewhere. Such as canned pumpkin. It's a lot cheaper too! Plus it has vitamins and the such. It also helps with hair balls. You can give it to a cat straight or you can add a teaspoon or so to their wet food.

A confession... I use this concept for my own weight loss. I think of any white (and most yellow) carbs as poison (a mind game I play with myself) and only eat high fiber whole grains and then in extreme moderation. I don't necessarily use pumpkin. That is just what is often recommended for cats and they seem to like it.
post #7 of 20
I didn't know that about pumpkin, I am going to get some today for Scully and see how his tummy handles it
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I didn't know that about pumpkin, I am going to get some today for Scully and see how his tummy handles it
I guess we haven't talked about pumpkin here lately. We used to all the time. I guess we were all using it and stopped talking about it. We need to bring it up more often so that people who come after us hear about this wonderful supplement!
post #9 of 20
It has to be easier than giving him a fiber pill, actually he isn't too bad about it, I usually have a yogurt in the evening and sprinkle the contents of the gel capsule onto the lid for him with a little yogurt and he will eat it like that... but spooning some out of a can seems a lot easier.

How much do you give them?
post #10 of 20
My cats weigh between 13-14 pounds, but the vet says they are "bog and long." Still, I try to be very careful, especially with Shenandoah, who would eat all the time if I let him.
You sound like a very good mama. I am sure it will be fine.

Like others have said, 18 pounds is normal for certain breeds and certain cats. Good luck to you!
post #11 of 20
I was in PetSmart yesterday buying Nutro (thanks Sharky!) and an elderly woman asked me if I knew what to do for her cat who was having diaherrea (sp?). She had taken him to the vet, who gave him a shot, but I guess the loose stools keep returning. I told her I had no experience with that, but I had heard (on this board) that canned pumpkin was good for stool problems. She said she had some canned pumpkin at home and was going to try it. I guess I told her the right thing, huh?

When I first heard about the pumpkin, I looked all over the grocery for it, and couldn't find it (in April), so instead I bought a small jar of baby food - yellow or winter squash. My Dusty really liked it, and I had no problem mixing it in her food - and she is a picky eater.
post #12 of 20
First off, congratulations to you for realizing your cat is overweight and wanting to do something to remedy that. I think that's awesome!!

Start with talking to your vet. If your cat hasn't had lab work done in awhile, do that and ask for the senior panel as well as for a thyroid check. Then, talk with the vet about how to go about sensibly helping your cat lose weight. As with humans, the key is diet (maybe using a sr. food or even prescription diet food which also has lots of fiber in it) and exercise. Think of some ways to help your cat get movin! Cut out the treats except on rare occasions or for an extra special time. Limit food intake (& stick with it when they beg for more food!) These are the things that worked with me. It's taken my cat about 3 years to drop almost 3 pounds, but it's so worth it to see her more active, better able to groom herself, and looking overall more healthy.

Stephanie
post #13 of 20
Don't assume that he is fat if he weighs 18 pounds.
You say he's got big paws and a big head and obesity should not make either of them big unless he is morbidly obese (25+ pounds).
I have a girl here who is simply huge in every way and she weighs 17 pounds and is very active and slim for her size, and she'ss be heavier still when she's done growing, not at all overweight though.

The best course of action is a vet trip, let your vet decide whether or not Catbutt is too heavy and discuss the best ways to deal with it.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty's Mom View Post
I was in PetSmart yesterday buying Nutro (thanks Sharky!) and an elderly woman asked me if I knew what to do for her cat who was having diaherrea (sp?). She had taken him to the vet, who gave him a shot, but I guess the loose stools keep returning. I told her I had no experience with that, but I had heard (on this board) that canned pumpkin was good for stool problems. She said she had some canned pumpkin at home and was going to try it. I guess I told her the right thing, huh?

When I first heard about the pumpkin, I looked all over the grocery for it, and couldn't find it (in April), so instead I bought a small jar of baby food - yellow or winter squash. My Dusty really liked it, and I had no problem mixing it in her food - and she is a picky eater.
Yes, I believe you told her the right thing! And just FYI, canned pumpkin is probably mostly found in the section with canned fruit pie fillings.
post #15 of 20
I've been struggling with this too! My 10-month-old is 12.5 lbs! When I took him to the vet, he just said "wow, he weighs a lot more than last time, ha ha." (Last time was when he was like 3 months old, for booster shots, so yeah, he's obviously grown). The vet was really busy that day and I was there for something else, and chasing my cat around the room, etc., I forgot to ask about his weight.

He's on Iams indoor cat dry food (treats hairballs and weight -- he's a med-to-longhair, so getting a head start on that too), but I give him almost a cup a day (in 3 meals). Is that WAY too much? He freaks out if his bowl is empty, then I worry he'll really overeat when I finally do feed him (had a roommate with a cat with that problem). I'd rather free feed, because I don't want food to become a constant issue, but he unfortunately can't handle that.

He is a really big boy, though -- his mid-section definitely isn't svelte, but he doesn't look obese (to me, his doting mother, anyway...). He had HUGE paws when he was a baby. But I worry because he might still be growing -- what happens when he stops? (I know when I stopped growing, I gained weight )

He's very active and has NEVER EVER had a single bite of people food (well, I've probably dropped crumbs by accident, but I do not feed him people food!). Oh, we did give him some turkey at Thanksgiving, but that's birds... I consider it cat-like food. He's had about 1/2 a container of treats in his whole life so far. So I don't know, I'm just keeping an eye on him at this point... I'm not in the "obese is cute" school, but I wouldn't freak out about him being a little bit chubby, as long as I know he's not going to drop dead
post #16 of 20
It can be so hard to find a good solution to weight issues. Both my cats are around 12 years old. I have one (Elvirah) who is quite rotund, with about 13.5lbs on her small frame. They were free fed dry (Iams), and Virah was always hovering over the food bowl, eating one piece at a time but more or less constantly, and she would just howl if the bowl was empty. But Rajah was basically a normal weight, around 8lbs on a very small frame. They both threw up regularly, i blame the corn in the Iams. For some reason it never occurred to me that the food could be the problem, it's what the vet told me to feed them. The vet also told me that they threw up all the time from hairballs, even though i told him i could only rarely see any hair, it almost always all food. ("Oh, there's hair there, you just don't see it" ) I tried the weight control kind, Elvirah didn't seem to lose any, but Rajah sure did, so i had to go back to the full calorie version.

When Rajah's teeth troubles became critical i switched them both to canned very suddenly out of necessity. Elvirah's eating behaviors changed dramatically. She eagerly ate her food at mealtimes, and sometimes left a little food in the bowl uneaten! She walked away from it and actually did other things than eat. I got a scale to monitor Rajah's anorexia (she was down to 6 lbs) and Elvirah was slowly losing a few ounces on the canned. I think that saying i've read so many time lately must be true - that cats eat to fulfill their protein requirement, not their carb requirement. Trying to put them on a "diet" with the foods that are full of fiber and carbs, with a lot of the protein in plant form, is counterproductive. She also stopped begging for a taste of everything we were eating when we switched her to canned.

I finally found a dry food that Rajah liked (Chicken Soup), and of course Elvirah likes it too although they had both refused many other kinds previously including the Iams they used to eat. So now i'm having to cut back on her canned since i have to leave the dry out so Rajah can free feed, and Virah wants some of that too. It's a difficult balancing act.
post #17 of 20
A quarter cup a day sounds like way too little to me. I agree with the other poster who suggests that this is causing the cat's system to react like those of people on a too-strict diet... it's hoarding any calories it gets, because it's not getting enough. I would try switching to wet food instead, and feeding more of it.
post #18 of 20
Try Innova evo or dry solid gold those ones help alot. Maybe cut back on his food more, you want to get away from grains and more into meats. heres a site you may find useful. www. Naturapet.com
post #19 of 20
sorry i mean www.naturapet.com
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panther pride View Post
sorry i mean www.naturapet.com
Thanks for all this infor; it helps me, too.
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