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Fat Cats

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have a good way of getting your cat to exercise? I have one cat which is way too fat, and another which is on his way. Not only that, but they are waking me up at 4 in the morning when they run out of food. I try to use toys like a laser dot, but the fat one is rarely interested and the skinny one is no longer willing to jump around to attack it.

I feed them iams weight loss dry food. If I do not free feed them they basically flip out and keep me up at night. Even if I lock them out of the room, my skinnier cat will just scratch the door with his two front paws until I open it and feed him. Is there anyway to get rid of some of their energy and/or fat which they will actually be interested in?
post #2 of 16
I have two kitties also, one skinny and one rather overweight.
The skinny girl enjoys da bird, her laser toy and kitty twirler/dance toys.
The overweight kitty refuses to exercise, but I do try daily anyways.
I found that she enjoys little colored mice a lot, and will chase them once in a while, so that is some sort of exercise even if not a lot.

As kitties age, they get more calm and move less and less, so finding a diet that keeps them in shape is important.
I am in the process of finding wet food that overweight kitty will eat, which should help.
I also feed dry food, high in l-carnitine.

I am hoping for some progress in her weight in a couple of months.
post #3 of 16
The laser toy and fishing pole type toys are my best suggestion....sounds like you've already tried. My chubby cat didn't used to do ANYTHING...until he lost a little weight. He now plays without me initiating it. He's much more active now that he's lost weight.

Really the only way to get them to quit "flipping out" over the lack of free feeding, is to ignore the behavior (scratching, begging, etc).

When I first eliminated free feeding, my oldest (and chubbiest) cat started his antics at 3am. He stood on my chest and bit my nose, pulled my hair with his teeth, yowled at the top of his lungs....I pulled the covers over my head and ignored it. He worked his way up to 4am, 5am, and now he makes it through the night without bothering me. It's not easy, but they will stop when they don't succeed.

If you haven't already, it would be a good idea to take the cats to the vet for an exam, to discuss their weight loss w/ a vet.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
The laser toy and fishing pole type toys are my best suggestion....sounds like you've already tried. My chubby cat didn't used to do ANYTHING...until he lost a little weight. He now plays without me initiating it. He's much more active now that he's lost weight.
Same here, we started a diet regime and as he lost weight he became more interested in play.

My best suggestion, seen as he likes food is to get him to exercise for treats, make him climb for them, or tie a treat to a fishing pole type toy and see if it catches his interest. Even if the treat cancels out the exercise, you are starting a regime of playing and will make things a little easier
post #5 of 16
Some weight control/lite/indoor formulas can be a bit carb-y
http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/dryfood.html

Since I have a kitten too, I have both of mine eating kitten food. It's easier than feeding in separate rooms and Sho has lost some weight. Though Tomas making him play has helped the most.

I second teaser toys, anything psychical that your cats can chase and grab. Does your big cat respond to cat nip? Maybe nip him up a bit and see if he'll play after that.

Add wet to their diet. It's a bit hard now with all the recalled foods but there are some that are safe, just avoid wheat gluten for the time being to keep it simple.

Don't let them nap all day... I know, easier said then done. If you can get the big cat up and moving around and not laying on it's butt all the time maybe it'll help.
Tomas does this to Sho, so instead of sleeping all the time he gets some wrestling in.

(darnit.. When I clicked to post the other two post weren't there if I repeated anything it's cause I take forever to post )
post #6 of 16
I make mine work for their food. All bowls of food and water are on raised platforms (washer/dryer, bathroom counters, etc). I also have tall cat condos that they need to climb up and down on.

If you have a house with stairs, put their litter on one floor and their food on the other. Make them use the stairs.

Keep trying with toys. I finally found one that my big boy likes and he actually left the ground to leap at it the other night. First time all 4 paws left the floor in play in 4 years.
post #7 of 16
I forgot something. This doesn't really pertain to exercise, but it is a calorie burner ...so I will add it...

Again this is in regards to scheduled meals...if you can do it, it would really, really help. When I switched to meals, I noticed almost immediately that my cats are active for probably an additional 4-6 hours a day. A couple hours before each meal, they all get up and mill around, and usually end up playing for awhile...in anticipation of the "meal". Then they're often up and around for a good hour or so afterwards. My schedule allows for 3 small meals a day, although a lot of people do 2 meals. Once you decide on a time, stick to it...structure is everything.
post #8 of 16
Since lots of good advice has been given so far, I won't go there, but I just wanted to second what beandip said about the extra activity. I put out a measured amount of dry every morning (7am) and it normally lasts until approx 2-3pm, and then nobody gets anymore food until 10pm when their wet meal comes out. 4/5 cats go absolutely BONKERS from around 7:30-8pm till meal time. So that may help you out a little getting your big guy moving.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. The litter is on the 1st floor and their food is on the 2nd. I have a three story place so I suppose I could put their food on the 3rd story.

I have thought about giving them just a bit of food in the morning and going to work.

They do fight with eachother fairly often, so hopefully that burns a few calories as well. I will look into wet cat foods once this whole recall mess is over...
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaniac View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. The litter is on the 1st floor and their food is on the 2nd. I have a three story place so I suppose I could put their food on the 3rd story.

I have thought about giving them just a bit of food in the morning and going to work.

They do fight with eachother fairly often, so hopefully that burns a few calories as well. I will look into wet cat foods once this whole recall mess is over...
After you look into wet cat foods...you could try this - give them a certain amount of dry food before you go to work (like you said), then make their "dinner" a canned meal. Then when you go to bed, shut the door and pray for peace and quiet. It'll happen eventually.
post #11 of 16
Scratch is a bit on the chubby side but after we got Squee and a new laser pen, she's a lot more active.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiraz View Post
Since lots of good advice has been given so far, I won't go there, but I just wanted to second what beandip said about the extra activity. I put out a measured amount of dry every morning (7am) and it normally lasts until approx 2-3pm, and then nobody gets anymore food until 10pm when their wet meal comes out. 4/5 cats go absolutely BONKERS from around 7:30-8pm till meal time. So that may help you out a little getting your big guy moving.

How much dry do you put out inthe morning? I have 6 cats and I'm having a hard time figuring out how much dry food to put out so they'll be hungry at nightime. I have one cat that NEVER acts hungry. I put out dry, he eats a bite and walks away, if he doesn't ignore it completely, and I'll givethem wet, and he ignores that too. Soooo, frustrating, especially with 6 cats, but I see you have 5, so how do you do it?
post #13 of 16
I saw something on a website once (wish I really did since I to have a slightly chubby boy)that was similar to a Kong toy for dogs where one could put in a daily ration of cat food and the'd actually have to work on getting it out.
They have to roll it bounce it and such to get food.Seems to me it be more natural for the cat to have to :hunt"it before eating.Hope I will find the site again.
post #14 of 16
I have had obese cats. 3 total. One I indulged, One I adopted, but had to be euthanized because of obesity related issues and my current fat boy. If you can, have them seen by a vet and put them on proper diet food ( not always an affordable option, I know) Set strict feeding times, DO NOT give into those cuties no matter how much they beg. Food driven cats are a rough crowd. Exercise... search the universe for any thing that might raise a whisker. You might have to throww the toys all around them for a while (even if there is no response) Get different toys and keep them in a bag of cat nip. Rotate the toys so they dont get bored (even though they are seemingly bored to begin with). My fat boy Opie likes only one toy... so I play with him as much as possible. My saving grace is that I can take Opie out on a leash for walks.. not many cats will do this. Have you thought about that? Good Luck!

Opie Fat!
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaniac View Post
Does anyone have a good way of getting your cat to exercise?
Switch them from dry foods to canned. Google for "Catkins" diet. They will lose weight from the switch. As they slim down, they become more active.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaniac View Post
Not only that, but they are waking me up at 4 in the morning when they run out of food.
Keep a spray bottle of water by your bedside. You will only have to use it 3-4 times (on each one) before they get the message.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaniac View Post
I try to use toys like a laser dot, but the fat one is rarely interested and the skinny one is no longer willing to jump around to attack it.
Mine will chase the laser occasionally. He LOVES chasing string though! Mine has a set play time every evening. He whines if he doesn't get to play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaniac View Post
I feed them iams weight loss dry food.
I don't feed the so-called 'lite' dry foods, because they are loaded with carbs. Some feel those excess carbs are responsible for the weight gain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaniac View Post
If I do not free feed them they basically flip out and keep me up at night.
I switched mine from free-feeding dry, to free-feeding canned on demand. In other words, whenever kitty whined after the switch, he got two level tablespoons of canned. Some months later, I figured out he was consuming roughly 4 level tablespoons of canned every six hours, so that's the schedule he is now on. This method won't work if you aren't home all day long, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charmaniac View Post
Is there anyway to get rid of some of their energy and/or fat which they will actually be interested in?
I agree with what the other posters here had to say about using steps to your advantage. Try different toys. My cat can take or leave the laser, whereas my friend's cat is on the laser like white on rice.

Whatever you do, don't give up on the weight loss goal. Two of my friends lost their cats from obesity related health problems, with one left with a $3700 vet bill after the cat had died. It's not worth it to their quality of life to allow them to stay overweight, nor is it worth it to you to risk losing a friend you love. Keep seeking until you find what works for you and your kitties.
post #16 of 16
Part of the weight loss problem is the food. AAFCO regulates what can be called a "light" food and what can't. If you look at the bag of Iams, I doesn't say LIGHT on it. It says, weight control. AAFCO wont let them market it as a light food because it has too many calories in it. The only reason they can call it a weight management food is because it has less calories then the "orginal" Iams.

Science diet light food has 30 calories less per cup then Iams. Now that might not seem like a lot of calories for you or me, but it can make a large differance for your kitty. You should also feed the amount it says on the bag based on what your cat SHOULD weigh. No matter how much they meow. DONT GIVE IN! A recent study showed that an overweight pet lives almost 2 YEARS less then a healthy weight animal.

Putting them on a healthy diet is similair to us going on a healthy diet. Less fat and less calories...

Hope this helps!
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