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Fat cat: more tips?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I've written a few times before about my fat cat, Isabel.

She is healthy, just overweight. I've done everything I'm supposed to do which was supposed to lower her weight and didn't. I measure the food out (low calorie all natural hard food), she is only getting soft food once in a while (maybe 2 times per week at most and not much when she does). She is a bit active, my other cat gives her no choice about it.

But, she really hasn't lost weight. Anyone have any suggestions about this? I was wondering if I should take all food away during the night time, just leave water out. Right now there is a little bit of food left during the night.
post #2 of 26
Well just like us, the fat will not vanish overnight. I would keep on doing what you are doing and perhaps start playing with her one-on-one yourself with a toy on string and see if you can engage her "prey" instinct and make her run about a little more than she is.

Good luck!
post #3 of 26
I've been doing a fair bit of reading regarding dry food, and it seems that dry food is pretty bad for causing obesity in cats, and if you want them to lose weight, you're better off switching to canned food. I can supply you with some links regarding this if you're interested.

I happened to have a cat with FLUTD, and a vet told me to take him completely off dry food, which I did. Not only did his FLUTD clear up, but he & another overweight cat of mine both lost weight.

Exercise also helps greatly, my cat's favourite toy is Da Bird.

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Really? Everyone including the vet says that hard food is better for them than wet food, thats why I changed in the first place.

The links would be great.
post #5 of 26
One thing you can do, is take a bowl of water (small bowl) and drop one piece of kibble into that bowl and walk away. Return to that bowl in a few hours and see the way that one piece of kibble has grown and expanded. Now multiply that by how many pieces of kibble are in your cat's stomach add the water she drinks and you have the potential for a very fat cat. That plus people tend to feed the "bowl" not the cat is also part of the problem when it comes to obesity.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
That makes some sense. So do you think maybe I should find my own way to measure it and not go by what the package said? What I did is go by that and then find a bowl that size to make it easy on me. Maybe I should be aiming for less than what it says.
post #7 of 26
Here's a couple of links I found yesterday regarding dry diets, and the effect carbohydrates have on our cat's weight.

(the interesting bit is about half way down)


Ok, they're about Diabetes, but what they are saying is the carbohydrates in the dry food are causing obesity, which in turn "may" be the cause of diabetes in some cats.

Most of this information has come from research from Deborah Greco.

I feed my crew dry still, but only put it out for 15-20 mins at breakfast & dinner. Their main diet now is raw & canned food.

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
That's very interesting, I've noticed some of these things in my cat. Isabel doesn't eat that much really. But she spends more time eating hard food than wet like the article says. She will eat a wee bit of wet food and walk off... and like in the article, I thought she just didn't like it!

This is very interesting, I am definately going to rethink everything everyone has told me. I was always feeding all my cats till about March of 2002 3/4 of their food as wet food. Then all I heard was how much better the nutrition is in hard food so I switched over. I can't really say that this is what made my cat fat. I got Isabel from the shelter and she had been living on the street before and was not at a normal weight. So, I thought of her weight gain as normal being that she was being feed regularly.

I will read more about this, it seems to make a lot of sense. Maybe I was right to start with and shouldn't have changed.
post #9 of 26
I had a cat that became obese and was switched - at Vet's instruction - to a dry food diet. I fed strictly in accordance with the instructions. Cat developed a cough, became bloated and, worst of all, his weight increased. After eight years on this so-called diet he reached 9.5Kg - one day he crashed with CRF and three weeks later diabetes followed. He was immediately taken off the dry food - within two days the cough had vanished - and put on to a canned food Low Ph/S - he started to lose weight. The canned food had far less carbs and fibre than the dry food diet. Cats are obligate carnivores and do not require carbs - feral cats eat protein, fat, and minimal carbs, already digested, in the gut of their prey. As someone has already pointed out (and I know from experience) High carb food leads to obesity and diabetes, renal problems, allergies. I do not give my cats any dry food at all: I do not feed canned food after reading a study by a Veterinary University alledging easy-open cans were the cause of the epidemic of hyperthyroidism in pet cats in the USA - apparently there is an endocrine disrupter in the lining of the cans. Checking with my Vet, I find that hyperthyroidism has also increased markedly in Australia. My two new cats - almost a year old, eat organic raw beef, lamb or chicken food with added bran, calcium to keep the calcium:phosphorus in the correct ratio, taurine, thiamine and a complete vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplement. They also get an organic raw chicken neck three times a week to promote dental health.

Please do not reduce the amount of food you cat is getting, rather improve the quality. A cat needs 20-30Kj/lb per day - 20 if you are trying to get the cat to lose weight. As you decrease the carbohydrate and increase quality protein and fat you cat should become more active. If you are in the US there are several premium canned foods available to you, using human grade meat - muscle, no meat or poultry by products, no fillers or dangerous preservatives and little or no carbohydrate.

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
What brand of cat food would you suggest?

I've decided to switch them back to canned foods. At the moment I have bought Health Diet - Gourmet. Neither one of my cats will eat real meat. I've tried giving them some as treats from time to time and they won't eat it.

You were saying that your cats got more active. My fat cat, Isabel, was way more active today than usual. Maybe thats related.

I will give them VERY small amounts of the hard food at the end of the day after they have eaten the canned food.

Also, I don't know what j/lb is.

And you know what? It irritates me that the shelter, the vet, and many people all told me hard food was the way to give them all the nutrition my cats need as though I'd been neglecting them before.
post #11 of 26

A lot of people still do believe that dry food is the best thing to feed cats. In Australia, it's never really been pushed like it seems to have been elsewhere. We've always been encouraged to feed a variety of food here.

I only found out people are feeding so much dry when I started chatting on a cat forum a few years back. A lot of the people there fed dry only. It just never made sense to me to feed only dry food, and I started researching the ins & outs of it. The more I read, the more I didn't like. And then a few months ago, this new research from Deborah Greco came out, basically saying that dry food isn't all it's cracked up to be.

It will take a while for people to switch back, but I do think that in a few years, people will be feeding a more varied diet, and not just dry food. I really hope so anyway.

Please let us know how your kitty diet goes.

post #12 of 26
Thanks for the links
post #13 of 26
I have been reading about the fat cat situation. I have one too. She has been on Science Diet RD food since May 2002. Lost a little, It's hard food. I'm wondering whether she would lose more on canned food and also what brand would be good??
Thanks, Ruth
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
I think the change in food is going well for my cats. Neither one has complained. They don't walk around whining to eat either which is good. I was worried I might be measuring too tightly but I think things are working well. It took a little bit for them to get the taste for the wet food but now they eat it all up. I think my fat girl does have more energy, at least she's been a little more bratty.
post #15 of 26
I am curious what wet food your giving her?
Thanks, Ruth
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Health Diet Gourmet at the moment... but only because it has better portion sizes than the others. I don't know what the best type would be to feed them.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

Its been about two months now that my cat, Isabel, has been on her new diet. I have been giving her soft food only and diligently measuring the food out. She has finally lost some weight. Instead of fat I am starting to feel her muscles (she is quite muscular underneath) and have a hint that she has ribs.

She is doing very well and whoever said she would have more energy... she certainly does. Its not always the little one pouncing on her, sometimes it her pouncing first.

She has a little bit more weight to lose but she is doing great.
post #18 of 26
It's great to hear that Isabel is doing so well on her diet. Keep up the good work, Isabel! Thanks for the update on her.
post #19 of 26
Hi, I'm glad Isabel's doing good and losing weight. I started my Gigi on canned, I'm using Wellness as it has real meat in it and good ingredients. She is taking awhile as she likes her hard food. I give her maybe a 1/4 cup of hard a day. I feed her 1/2 can of wet twice a day, 3oz total. What I wanted to ask you is how much you feed your Isabel?? How much did she weigh, and how much does she weigh now?
Thanks, Ruth
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, I haven't a scale to weigh her before and after, I've been judging her progress by eye and by touch. I read a website on how to judge a cats weight that talked about body shape and that you should be able to feel their ribs... not too much, but just slightly padded ribs.

I have two cats, and between the both of them, then get one 3oz can in the morning and one when I come home. If they are having a hungry day (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't), thats when I give them some hard food at bedtime... I will give them just under a 1/4 cup then.

That might not sound like a lot of food between two cats, but believe it or not, neither one of them complains. And, they don't always finish the food I give them. I initially worried my other cat, who is a very thin active cat, might comlain about the food, but she hasn't complained once. On hungry days, its Isabel asking for the hard food.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Oh, I should mention that neither of my cats are that big. Sarah is probably around 6 or so pounds, and I would estimate Isabel to be close to double that weight... but I'm not possitive on that.
post #22 of 26
Hi immortal flower!

i like your user name - so soft, feminine and sounds very very Chinese! :

i help maintain my kitties weight by exercising them (besides watching their diets) - encouraging them to run and play through interactive games.

i often run and play with them. i also encourage them to climb their tree by playing fetch with them, throwing their favorite toys up in the air and up in the most upperdeck of their trees. This way, they will jump and climb, etc.

They also exercise by chasing each other around the house, especially in the middle of the night when everyone is at sleep! :LOL:

post #23 of 26
I have 4 overweight adult cats. All have been fed Science Diet Light in measured amounts twice daily. My vet has decided to put them on canned kitten food (Science Diet or IAMS) and gave me the amounts based on their current weight. They are to be fed twice daily and whatever they don't eat I put away. The canned food is lower in carbs and higher in protein. Because of the fat content, fatty liver disease is not a concern. This diet is used on obese diabetic cats also. It's only been a few days and they seem to be doing fine. The doctor said they will miss the carbohydrates in the dry food but will adjust to the canned and will loose weight slowly and healthily. We'll see!
post #24 of 26
Curious: How much did your cats weigh, and how much did he say to feed them of canned per day? No hard food at all? Thanks for the information. My mom's vet said about the same thing to loose weight, but didn't say how much to feed.
Thanks for your help,
post #25 of 26
I haven't had this problem yet, but a neighbor did. Her rather large domestic shorthair weighed 18 kg. (that's well over 36 lbs., which unfortunately isn't the world record) and wouldn't eat canned food. She put the cat on 60 g. of Hill's Science Diet Light dry per day, divided into two meals, and the cat dropped to 11 kg. in a little over a year. That's still way too much, but the cat is now eighteen and healthy. She was almost 15 when she was put on a diet, and has always been a very active cat. Does your cat go outside? We used to have several cats living next door to the school I work at, and one overweight cat in particular was constantly mooching. Her owner put a collar on her which read, "Do not feed, for my sake". It worked. I've stopped using cups to measure dry food, because it's not very exact - a postal scale with a plastic dish on top is much more precise. I was in the hospital last summer for two weeks, so hubby had to feed the cat. He used a measuring cup (breakfast is dry food, dinner is canned), and JC gained an entire pound in two weeks! After I was home and weighing his food and taking him for walks, he quickly dropped the extra weight.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
My cats are indoor cats. My skinny cat, Sarah, loves to endlessly chase things. She doesn't care if she ever catches them, she is just happy to do it. So, she gets lots of energy. Isabel, the one losing weight.. doesn't chase things, she sneaks up on them. That isn't exactly good exercise and I can't seem to coax her to run around. But, she is a good jumper. She can just right up onto the window sill with no problem. But, I can't seem to make her jump for exercise.

I'm glad I don't have to worry about other people feeding them too much! But, these two aren't beggars so I don't think they would coax people to feed them too much extra.
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