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post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My 12 year old cat Millie is starting to become very overweight. She used to weight 7 pounds and now she is at 12 pounds. Here is a picture of her.

The picture is kind of old, it was taken about 4 months ago. She has gained a little more weight.

I didn't realize how much bigger she had gotten until I was looking at pictures of her from a few years ago. I would show you guys a picture where she was skinny but they aren't on a digital camera and I don't have a scanner.

Right now she is free-fed dry food and eats wet food once a day. What should I do to help her lose weight?
post #2 of 15
First please consult a VET.... When was her last senior panel??? Did the vet state she is overwt???

to me she appears a touch chubby but ONLY a vet can tell you if Millie needs to lose wt ...
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
She was at the vet about 2 months ago. He said she was compleatly healthy but she was getting chubby. He said it isn't anything to worry about but if I want to I can keep her schedule her meals instead of free-feeding her. I have always free-fed my cats so this is new to me.
post #4 of 15
I would gradually decrease the dry and increase some wet ...

scheduled meals I do well with dogs but have yet to figure it out with cats but I know many on here have ...
post #5 of 15
The only way I could get Odo's weight stable is to feed him two meals of canned food and that's it. He gets a rare treat, but he doesn't get any dry.
post #6 of 15
Most cats will become overweight when free feeding. So start with that. I'd call the vet and ask how much to give her as a portion. Maybe no more then a 1/3 of a cup of dry once a day and the canned food in the evening. How much of the canned food is she getting? That will have to be measured out too.

Our cats get feed dry in the morning (about 1/3 cup - 1/2 cup) and about 1/2 can of canned in the evening. We have 2 cats, so that's what they get each.

You should try and get her to play more - interactive toys, laser lights up and down steps, etc.

You don't want her to lose the weight too fast, but work on getting about 2-3 lbs off and see what the vet feels as far as losing any more.
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I would gradually decrease the dry and increase some wet ...

scheduled meals I do well with dogs but have yet to figure it out with cats but I know many on here have ...
Sharky, try crate-training. It has worked wonders with mine for scheduled feeding. They love being in the crates, and have learned when there is a crate and mom brings out food, they will be rewarded with a treat and then a nice big bowl of yumminess if they plunk their butts down and stay there.

To the OP.. you have gotten some great advice.
post #8 of 15
I never did figure this out for my last kitty. He got fairly fat and was obsessed with food. When I tried to cut it down a bit he just followed me around the house constantly crying...drove me bonkers!
post #9 of 15
If the vet didn't do blood work, I would recommend that for sure...just to be sure there aren't any issues going on.

It's best to consult a vet about the portions, ideal weight, etc. Some vets are not much help in that area, though.

I would suggest switching to scheduled meals. Switching can be frustrating but I believe it is well worth the trouble. Some will beg incessantly at first. Leopold did that to me. I just had to ignore it, it got better over time. I started with 3 meals a day. When the weather warmed up, they lost interest in "lunch" now they eat twice a day.

If I were you, I would start out with one dry meal and one wet meal. If your schedule allows for splitting one of those meals, then that may smooth the transition. Eventually if you can shift to a completely wet diet, that would be my suggestion. Dry food can be a huge contributor to weight gain. Weight loss should be slow to be safe and effective (long term). A general guide would be no more than 1% per week.

The portions vary quite a bit depending on the food and the cat's activity level, metabolism, etc. I would not recommend weight management foods as the logic behind them is quite backwards and they are usually ineffective.

A good article on feline obesity

The benefits of canned food
post #10 of 15
As far as free feeding / scheduled feeding, I would start by leaving her at free feeding but making sure she is getting the right amount. Measure her food, if she eats it all, make her wait until feeding time for more. Once she is used to waiting, put half the food in her bowl in the morning and half in the evening.
post #11 of 15
I understand your concern. I'm in the same position right now. Bijou had his yearly check-up this morning and he is now 17.56 lbs. The vet says he is in great shape except for his weight. The vet has suggested 3 foods for weight loss, a Purina One product, Medi Cal and a Science Diet formula. He gave me a brochure on the Medi Cal and I just read the ingredients. I'm not impressed. The canned version has: Water, Chicken Liver, Meat By-Products, Chicken By-Products, Mackerel, Shrimp, Salmon, Rice Flour and then goes on with all the other stuff that's difficult to pronounce. The dry has Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal (preserved with mixed tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid and Lecithin), Corn Gluten Meal, Potato Protein, Corn, Fish Meal, etc.

On the other hand, I liked the vet - he uses the Purevax rabies vaccine and didn't give any other vaccines. He said they didn't need them every year so that eases my mind a bit. I did have to ASK him to check Bijou's ears and he didn't check his teeth at all, so in that respect I didn't think he was very thorough.

I'm going to stop giving him as much dry food and see how well he does on just the 2 wet food meals per day. With him and Mika sharing food, it's difficult because she is small. Mind you she weighed in at 10 lbs today but looks small to us (maybe in relation to Bijou).
post #12 of 15
I can sympathize. I have the same problem with Abby. She is about 2-1/2 years old and weighs 15 lbs (my FIL was horrified that my cat weighs the same as his dog!).
Abby is pretty much on a schedule. She gets fed wet and dry in the morning and wet and dry at night with the remainder of her dry provided to her during the day. She gets about 1/3 of a can of wet and 1/4 cup of dry a day.
I would agree to get her a senior panel to see if something is going on. I am taking Abby to the vet next week and I'm going to have them do a thyroid test on her because even though we've restricted her food she's not losing any weight. Good luck.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice. I just don't want her to get so overweight that it starts effecting her health.

I don't think she will bother me too much when she wants more food. When she is hungry she just sits in front of her dish until I feed her.
post #14 of 15
You are lucky, mine will run from the food bowls to me and meow, then run to the cupboard where their food is and meow again, then go and look in their empty dish and start all over again
post #15 of 15
My vet recommended Purina DM wet food for my cat who was 18.2lbs. In 4 months she's down to 15. I don't know if this is for every cat, you may want to ask your vet, but i have had really good results. Soon, I am planning on switching her to a food with higher quality ingredients, because her #2s smell. Other than that, i've had her rechecked and she's doing great. Just a thought. good luck..overweight kitties are tough.
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