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How to get an overweight cat to exercise

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Okay I've spent the last month buying every toy that had a review in which the person's lazy cat amazingly played with it non-stop. While many of these entertain my cat for several minutes, I cannot get her to move when she plays. It doesn't matter if it's Da Bird or a catnip mouse or what she lays down the entire time she's "playing". She'll roll around and bat at the toy and occassionally sit up to try and catch it, but then it's right back down.

I think she is just so fat now that it's hard for her to move in her own weight, at least when it comes to jumping up/running. This is why I took her to the vet a couple of weeks ago because she was no longer climbing up on furniture and I even had to go get her a small ottoman to jump on and off my bed with. Fortunately the tests all came back fine other than the doc saying she was off the scale of obesity (she's 17 lbs and should be around 9). This is also why I'm getting a kitten at the end of March in hopes that an active kitty will motivate her. She's always loved to play with other cats in the past so my fingers are crossed that this will help.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get her to exercise some every day and it just isn't working. When I take her back to the vet in two weeks (after treatment for UTI symptoms) I am going to talk to the vet about ways to alter her diet but I don't think there is much we can do in that regard. She is on Science Diet S/D for FLUTD and is currently eating a little less than 1/2 cup of that per day which is the recommended amount for 10-12 lb cats. I have no clue what else to do! Does anyone have any advice?
post #2 of 22
My Oliver is the same way. I try to engage him with toys, but his favorite toy is his brother Rocky, and sometimes they play too rough so I have to separate them. I do think having another cat may help.

Both of them get Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Light. My mistake is probably free-feeding instead of feeding them at set times.

Good luck and keep us posted!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Creativgirl! It's nice to get some reassurance that another cat has great potential to help. I've been thinking about it for some time but when I read that obesity can cut a cat's life span in half, I became bound and determined to do anything to get my baby back in good health.

I am afraid that my dog doesn't help the situation. She loves my dog but seems more skittish when trying to play. Even if I put the dog outside she'll hear her whine and stop mid-play to stare at the door and see if she can figure out what's going on. It's like she's constantly distracted and so she can't really get into the game we're playing. I think I'll try to turn on my tv when we play next to drown out any noise coming from my dog. I have even put up a baby gate with a kitty door in my large master bath so that she has a "safe" area to play in, but if the dog is anywhere near she just can't focus. The new kitty will hopefully distract her enough to remember why playing is so much fun.
post #4 of 22
WIth cello I found the first thing was to get him moving around. Luckily he took to the harness and leash and so i took him for a 20 minute walk everyday (in the summer) this got him going and now i can get him to play with toys inside and he has lost weight and looks amazing!

Might be worth a shot?
post #5 of 22
There is a toy you can buy that you can put your cats food in. They have to push/chase the ball around and the kibble will fall out one piece at a time. Sounds annoying, I know! But I've see my vet recommend them to people who were having a hard time getting their cats to exercise.
post #6 of 22
If you live in a house with stairs, put the water on 1 floor, the food on another and the litter on another. Make her move around the house. I have my food up on the laundry room counter so they have to jump up to get it (and use their muscles more). They also love tall cat trees and will climb up and down those. Anything you can do to increase her movement will help you.

I would also talk to the vet about getting her on a quality, low carb wet food. I'm not familiar with dietary restrictions with FLUTD so my advice might be wrong here, but I do know that low carb wet food will help cats reduce their weights.
post #7 of 22
Try giving her pure catnip out of the bag, wait 5 minutes, then drag a shoelace across the floor. Usually that does the trick.
post #8 of 22
Matilda doesn't play with anything. The only thing she is even interested in is Da Bird and she bats it a few times and calls it a day. I feel like I've tried everything.

Chloe sure keeps her on her toes though, so she at least gets some exercise running away from her....do you have any plans for a 2nd kitty?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura View Post
Chloe sure keeps her on her toes though, so she at least gets some exercise running away from her....do you have any plans for a 2nd kitty?

Yes! I'm getting an abyssinian kitten the last weekend in March and can't wait. My fat cat is primarily the reason I'm getting her right now, although I had always planned to own an aby one day. She should be active enough for her.

Thanks for all of the other suggestions. I guarantee the harness wouldn't work. I occassionally let her out in my back yard but she is so terrified of outdoors that it takes her an hour to make it across the patio.

Also, I happened to remember that I bought those balls for her food years ago and so I filled one up last night and only put half of her usual amount in her bowl, hoping that once she ran out of the bowl she'd be forced to use the ball. Unfortunately that isn't working so far, but it may just take her a few days to figure out how the ball works.

Well, it sounds like the second cat is definitely my best bet so I will keep my fingers crossed that she helps. Thanks again!!!
post #10 of 22
I could be wrong, but is seems to me that even if she lays on her back to play, that is still some exercise. Her joints may feel uncomfy with the weight on them. My two aren't overweight (IMO) but Daphne does lay on her back when she gets tired but wants to keep playing. Her brain wants to play but her body is tired
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie1965 View Post
I could be wrong, but is seems to me that even if she lays on her back to play, that is still some exercise. Her joints may feel uncomfy with the weight on them. My two aren't overweight (IMO) but Daphne does lay on her back when she gets tired but wants to keep playing. Her brain wants to play but her body is tired
Hmmm I always thought it was laziness. Maybe it's a calico thing.

Spunky is 18lbs and lays on his back to play. Sometimes he prefers to supervise. I think the leash is an excellent idea.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie1965 View Post
I could be wrong, but is seems to me that even if she lays on her back to play, that is still some exercise. Her joints may feel uncomfy with the weight on them. My two aren't overweight (IMO) but Daphne does lay on her back when she gets tired but wants to keep playing. Her brain wants to play but her body is tired
The reason I also think it's laziness/uncomfortable is because she does try to sit and jump up to catch things when I first get a toy out, but quickly decides that's too much for her and lays back down. She's also not laying on her back but on her stomach and occassionally side. I do agree that any batting around is exercise, it's just not much when she needs to be losing 8lbs. The new kitten just HAS to work!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith p View Post
Try giving her pure catnip out of the bag, wait 5 minutes, then drag a shoelace across the floor. Usually that does the trick.
My Zane is one of those cats whom catnip does not seem to affect!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
My Zane is one of those cats whom catnip does not seem to affect!
I read at one time that it only excites 1/3 of cats. I would think it was more like 2/3 since every cat I have known loves it. Strange how it doesn't affect them all the same. BTW, my cat LOVES coffee grounds. It's just like catnip to her. Of course I don't give her pure grounds but when I make coffee she is all over the coffee maker rubbing on it.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamgirl99 View Post
I read at one time that it only excites 1/3 of cats. I would think it was more like 2/3 since every cat I have known loves it. Strange how it doesn't affect them all the same. BTW, my cat LOVES coffee grounds. It's just like catnip to her. Of course I don't give her pure grounds but when I make coffee she is all over the coffee maker rubbing on it.
Zane just sniffs at it and walks off. Absolutely no interest.

I am told that for cats that do get excited by it, it affects the part of the feline equivalent of a brain as in the human brain is affected by marijuana.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I got my cat to run last night! I was so excited. I noticed she went in the dining room and got up on one of my barstools. I put the dog out and went and grabbed Da Bird as I knew she was looking for something to do, otherwise she never goes into the dining room. Anyway, there is lots of space in there since I have no dining table and she got down and ran around for about 30 seconds chasing it. And I mean running hard, weaving and such. I haven't seen her do that in years! It looks like the daily exercise routine has started building up her strength/desire to play again. I think she's also feeling better since she's almost done with her antibiotic for her UTI and the lactulose finally seems to be working.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamgirl99 View Post
I got my cat to run last night! I was so excited. I noticed she went in the dining room and got up on one of my barstools. I put the dog out and went and grabbed Da Bird as I knew she was looking for something to do, otherwise she never goes into the dining room. Anyway, there is lots of space in there since I have no dining table and she got down and ran around for about 30 seconds chasing it. And I mean running hard, weaving and such. I haven't seen her do that in years! It looks like the daily exercise routine has started building up her strength/desire to play again. I think she's also feeling better since she's almost done with her antibiotic for her UTI and the lactulose finally seems to be working.
That's great news!
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamgirl99 View Post
I got my cat to run last night! I was so excited. I noticed she went in the dining room and got up on one of my barstools. I put the dog out and went and grabbed Da Bird as I knew she was looking for something to do, otherwise she never goes into the dining room. Anyway, there is lots of space in there since I have no dining table and she got down and ran around for about 30 seconds chasing it. And I mean running hard, weaving and such. I haven't seen her do that in years! It looks like the daily exercise routine has started building up her strength/desire to play again. I think she's also feeling better since she's almost done with her antibiotic for her UTI and the lactulose finally seems to be working.
Glad she's feeling better!
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you Creativgirl! Actually, I took her back to the vet last night for a follow-up of a UTI she had and she had lost about 1/2 lb. It's not much but at least it's a step in the right direction!
post #20 of 22

Where can you buy this cat feeder.  My cat REALLY needs to lose weight, and I will do anything to get her to exercise.

post #21 of 22

I go along with getting another cat, especially a much younger one..my older guy lost 3 lbs in a year cause I did that..best thing I could have done fo his health and hopefullly life longevity..to see them play fighting on the floor or hearing them chase each other up and down the stairs makes me smile..

post #22 of 22

I would suggest checking of the thread "Mickey, my 27 pound foster cats journey.....

It has a lot of great info in it having to do with getting a cat to lose weight in a healthy manner & at a healthy, safe rate.

 

best of lucky.

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