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NEED to lose weight.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
If I wasn't concerned before, I'm frantic now after the fiasco with Zeus, his heart disease and arthritis. His weight is okay for a healthy, active cat, but not with arthritis. He is now at 12.4 lbs and I'd like him to get down to the 10ish mark.

I have another cat also who adopted us from our front doorstep as a tiny kitten with a huge round belly. The vets were very guarded that she would survive delivery and especially nursing. We supplemented with KMR and kitten food for her and she got up to 11 lbs before she delivered 5 kittens approximately 2 weeks late. They felt better about her chances of survival, however, still guarded. We continued the extra nutrition support and she definetly flourished gaining up to 18 lbs before weaning her kittens. She never lost an ounce while nursing. By this time she needed to be spayed so they told me she needed to lose weight before they did the surgery. She lost down to 13.8 lbs and they did the procedure. Since then she has gone back up to 18 lbs and I've had the hardest time getting this weight off her. We encourage exercise and she is very agile for her size. About 3 months ago we tried EVO to cut out the carbs at the suggestion of a nutritionist at a holistic store in my area. She has since gained 2 pounds. I'm petrified now that she'll be having these problems that Zeus is having by the age of 5. I NEED to get this weight off her.

I went back to the store yesterday and we consulted again about Sara's gain and I told her my concerns about Zeus and my fear if this happening to Sara (even though Zeus' heart condition is congenital). She suggested we try Wellness grain free wet as a staple, 2 5.5 oz cans a day for Sara at 20 lbs, 1.25 cans for Zeus at 12.5 and 1.25 for my other cat Rayne, who is 9 lbs. She also said we could try another brand of dry food and possibly even one with grain, along with the wet food feeding dry in the a.m. and wet at night or vice versa, since our goal is weight loss for 2 of the 3 cats but the brands she suggested were like buying gold, even compared to the EVO we were feeding. Feeding the Wellness alone would cost us 136.00 a month in food. We spend 54.00 a month in dog food, with one dog weight much more than all 3 cats together, feeding Candiae, on top of the recreational bones and probably 5.00 a month on training treats (whcih we use a very small amount of).

There has got to be a more reasonable, cost effective way to get weight off my cats. If this is our only hope, I'll bite the bullet, but I really believe there has to be a more cost effective alternative without compromising my cats health any longer.
post #2 of 16
Without arthritis, health is more important than weight loss--healthy food, active life. Moderately fat cats who keep running around and eat good food will have normal lifespans. You are right that losing weight will be easier on the joints; in this case the benefit will probably be indirect: Because he can move more easily, he will move more and thus be healthier.

For your arthritic kitty, is there a feline nutritionist in your area? And have you had his thyroid checked? If you are feeding fewer calories and he is more active, he should be losing weight--it seems to me there's something in the way. Your saying he has arthritis makes me think he is a senior kitty... has he gotten a senior checkup w/blood work from the vet yet?
post #3 of 16
I am sorry to hear about all the trouble you have had. First, know it is not your fault. You are obviously doing everything in your power to ensure they are healthy and happy; some times these things just happen.

I know many would disagree for various reasons so please remember that this is my opinion and my opinion only.

I can tell that this is costing you a fortune. I feed my cats Nutrience Original Maintenance Cat food and they do wonders on it and it is not very expensive ($25.99 for a 6kg bag). I mix a bag of Purina Cat Chow with it ($17.99 for 8kg).

I did have one cat who was "over weight". She is a Persian and was only 7 months old and weighed almost 10lbs and her belly was HUGE. I was feeding Purina Cat Chow but swicthed to a Nutrience/Purina mix and she has since been looking wonderful and has lost some weight but is healthy. My other cats all look great and are healthy as can be. The vet is forever saying how wonderful they look and when asked what I feed, even though not the highest quality of food, she says not to change a thing.

I read the bag and go by the recommended daily feeding amount and put that amount only in their bowls for the day. Normally by the end of the day they still have a small amount left. I never have any unhappy starveing cats here and they do great!!

I do wish you the best of luck with your kitties!!
Take care

PS... Nutrience does have cat food for older cats and I know your kitty isn't old but it does include ingredients to help with arthritis and such. Just a thought.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
For your arthritic kitty, is there a feline nutritionist in your area? And have you had his thyroid checked?
Zeus is 11.5, the one with newly diagnosed arthritis. He had a full blood panel on Tuesday when we brought him in for the possible saddle thrombus. All of his labs came back normal including thyroid panel.

Sara is due for her check up and does not get a senior panel but I did have him check her thyroid panel last year due to the weight concerns at 18 lbs. Her thyroid panel and diabetes test came back normal. She is inactive, but agile when she needs/wants to be. Another big concern with her is that I have to clean her bottom for her everytime she goes to the bathroom. She cannot clean herself.

The lady that I spoke with recommending the EVO, and then the new regimen is a nutritionist. I just can't help but to think that there has to be a more economic alternative.

Pussy_cat, do you feed wet food at all? I would like to feed wet food in addition to the dry to at least make sure that they are getting enough moisture in their diets. The all drink water, but I would like to see their water intake increase, especially Zeus, the arthritic one. He's been having constipation from being on the pain meds and is still a little dehydrated.
post #5 of 16
I do feed wet food to a couple of my cats... but only the ones I feel need it.

I just recently started feeding one of my cats Nutrience WET kitten food (as well as the dry) to gain weight, lol. The kitten food has extra nutrients, etc and she is doing remarkably well. She is recovering from a Pyometra spay and was very small after the surgery! She is looking wonderful after only 1 week!!

If you are going to feed Zues wet food as well as dry I would do the same for all of your cats and just reduce the amount of dry food you leave out. You don't want to give them wet food along with the recommended daily amount of dry (this will only add weight). I would give them each 1 to 2 tbsp of wet food in the morning and I feel this, along with having access to water regularly, will be enough to help give Zues that extra bit of moisture in his diet to help with constipation.

I really do feel that the more expensive foods are good but the prices on some of them just make me cringe. I mean, Nutrience is a good cat food but not the "BEST". Results are what you are looking for though and if a lower priced food is going to give you the results you are looking for then really why spend more right.

I don't go by what people tell me I go by what I see myself and I have tried many different cat foods over the years (Purina, Whiska's, Actrium, Iams, Friskies, Science Diet, different vets foods) and the only foods my cats all agree upon (that don't give them the runs) is the mixture I feed now and I couldn't be happier with the results!

Well, I hope I have been of some help
Take care and good luck
post #6 of 16
My four year old male lost 3 pounds (and is currently a nice healthy five year old at 13 pounds). My vet helped me determined how much wet and dry food to feed, and I measure carefully. I do Nutro, wet and dry, and have had good luck with that.

I'd honestly work with my vet on this to determine a safe rate of weight loss and a range of foods that might work. I don't necessarily think you have to spend hundreds of dollars to find a food that will work for your pet and you. Also, if there's any registered nutritionists around, that would be a great option to work with as well - unfortunately, I think there are only about 50 registered feline nutritionists in the US, so that may not be so easy unless you're in a major metro area. Ask to see credentials if someone at a store states they're a nutritionist - they may be, they may not be. Not saying they may not have good advice, or know their product lines, but they may not be licensed as a nutritionist.

I understand your fears - I have diabetes myself, and was terrified I was turning my cat into a diabetic due to overfeeding.
post #7 of 16
evidently Nutrience isn't purchasable here in the states... at least, i'd never heard of it, & can't find it online except for european, canadian & australian/new zealand markets.

post #8 of 16
I am from Canada, so maybe it isn't available in the US. I was SURE that there was a US website for Nutrience; maybe I made a mistake.

As darlili said- Nutro is also a great food and price wise it is not the MOST expensive food out there. My sister feeds her pets Nutro and they do great on it.

I feel that no matter what you feed it is a matter of how much you feed of it daily. As I said in an earlier post- I would try to figure out the daily amount of dry food your cats should get and put that out. If you decide to feed the wet, I would reduce the amount of dry food you leave out for them (not by TOO much though). I think that within a couple weeks you will notice a difference in their weight .

Take care
post #9 of 16
So you have two cats with weight issues, Zues and Sara? I feel for you. Regulating weight in a cat is difficult enough, reducing is even more difficult.

Have both cats been tested for diabetes and hypo(underactive) thyroid disease?

I can't advise you with food choices, but I can give you some home tips.

One of my four cats has FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) and it is very important to keep her weight down. She's a challenge, because she's one of those cats that just seems to effortlessly get fat, inspite of the fact that she is extremely active and I regulate every bite she eats. She is on a special diet Hill's CD multicare. Her weight was being managed until she gained weight when they changed the forumula.

I do not free feed, ever. partly because I have four cats, and all four are on different diets (three are special needs). I am the dreaded Cat Food Police, and measure out, serve and keep track of every bite they eat.

My FLUTD cat with weight issues: She gets four main meals a day, and water is added to every serving. each meal consists of 1/2 tablespoon of her CD mixed with 1/4 cup of water and a tiny bit of (non fish flavor, and I mean TINY, one sixteenth of a can)) fancy feast to make a gravy.

The gravy makes the added water palatable, and the water slows her down, and makes her feel fuller.(plus I know she's getting enough fluids every day)

In additon to her four main meals (which total one fourth cup kibble, and 1/4 can FF and one full cup of water for the day) she gets another fourth cup of kibble in the manner of playing "chase the Kibble". I keep this 1/4 cup amount measured out, and twice during the day I stand in the kitchen and toss the kibbles, one at a time, and she chases them around the room, before killing it and eating it. this gives her exercise while eating, too. And she LOVES this game! (she invented it herself)

Her healthy weight is 8.5 pounds, and this is the only way I have found to keep her at it. She gets a total of 1/2 cup CD kibble, 1/4 (or less) can of Fancy Feast, and one full 8 ounces of water, daily, with this method.

I know you said your cats are active, and the other poster said, the more weight they lose the more active they become. This is so. Be sure you have places for your cats to jump UP. When you play with them invent games that will make them jump up.

Among other things, I have arranged a few bookcases as stair-steps. Five bookcases, starting with one only two feet high, gradually go up to just below the ceiling. Instant steps for cats!

One way to make them go up and down is to get a laser pointer red dot. If they will chase it (some won't) you can make the dot go up and down furntiutre or steps, or their cat tree, whatever you have.

Do you have a regular routine regarding play time? every evening I get on the floor with them around the same time. They expect this and gather round for Game time. We play different games on different nights to keep them from getting bored. Often, when I'm done playing, I notice the two younger cats (and often the 8 1/2 year old, too) will continue playing, Chase Me Chase You and Tumbling, for sometime afterwards, getting even more exercise!
post #10 of 16
PS

ask your vet about putting Zues on Cosequin for Cats. this is a Glucosamine (etc) supplement, the same thing humans (like myself) take for arthritis pain. When I put my senior lady on the cosequin, the improvement was dramatic, she was moving better in three days. She's tiny, though, only 5 pounds. It might take Zues a little longer than that to feel better.

The cosequin for cats is flavored sprinkles in a flavored capsule. It can be sprinkled over food (many cats like it) or given in capsule form. It does not need a prescription, you can get it at pet supply stores such as www.petmeds.com, but please talk to your vet before adding it, or any other supplement, to your cat's diet.

(in edit) the cosequin for cats will help with the constipation, also)
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
PS

ask your vet about putting Zues on Cosequin for Cats. this is a Glucosamine (etc) supplement, the same thing humans (like myself) take for arthritis pain. When I put my senior lady on the cosequin, the improvement was dramatic, she was moving better in three days. She's tiny, though, only 5 pounds. It might take Zues a little longer than that to feel better.

The cosequin for cats is flavored sprinkles in a flavored capsule. It can be sprinkled over food (many cats like it) or given in capsule form. It does not need a prescription, you can get it at pet supply stores such as www.petmeds.com, but please talk to your vet before adding it, or any other supplement, to your cat's diet.

(in edit) the cosequin for cats will help with the constipation, also)
Oh my gosh I'm SO glad you mentioned this! I'm going to ask my vet about this when I take my cat back for her re-check in a week. It sounds like the solutions to several of my cat's problems. The reason I took her in for a check up a few weeks ago was because she was no longer jumping like she used to and it sounds like this could really help with that. She is also extremely obese AND currently constipated. It's like this was made for her! Thanks!
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. Unfortunately most of the vets I've talked to about this are not that versed at weight loss for pets aside from prescription weight loss diets and portion/calorie control. We spoke very in depth about it yesterday. He knows I'm freaking out.

I bit the bullet and spent 75.00 on just over 2 weeks worth of food for the 3 cats (including the Cosequin which he suggested also). I figure that Sara will need about 230 calories per day and Zeus about the same, maybe slightly less. Both will do good on about 6-6.5 oz of the wet food a day. No wonder cats are fat. When compared to the suggested guidelines on the cans and bags, our cats are eating almost double the healthy calories. What an eye opener.

Aside from spending the money I'm afraid I've spent way too many hours researching foods and alternatives to this and far too few hours actually working to make this money to pay for it. LOL.

All I know for sure is I do want them to lose weight, be healthier and not have health effects from losing to quickly or not at all.

I do like the idea of the game with the dry food. If I do add back in dry food I may try that. She does like the laser pointer, but only for a few minutes before she wears out.

BTW--Zeus is having an awesome day. He has graduated to my bedroom and this morning came right out of the bathroom right up to the dogs without hesitation and very little limp. I am thrilled. Of course he takes it too far and falls on his behind, but I'm taking this is a big leap in his recovery.
post #13 of 16
It sound like we're in similar situations with our cats. What I would LOVE to switch my cat to is a completely raw diet. I went yesterday to buy some Nature's Variety frozen raw medallions but as I figured my cat wouldn't touch it. My cat only eats dry (Science Diet S/D for FLUDT/crystals) and I have never found a wet food she is willing to eat. I was reading some reviews yesterday on the Nature's Variety raw food and there are TONS of them on how this food completely reversed many of their pet's health problems (diabetes, arthritis, UTI's, obesity, etc.). The concept of this diet makes 100% sense to me as well. I just wish I could get my kitty to eat it, or anything else non-dry for that matter.

Good luck to you and your kitties and keep us posted if you find something that works!
post #14 of 16
cats need to lose weight?
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hook001 View Post
cats need to lose weight?
obese ones do - it's detrimental to their health just like it is to ours.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamgirl99 View Post
It sound like we're in similar situations with our cats. What I would LOVE to switch my cat to is a completely raw diet. I went yesterday to buy some Nature's Variety frozen raw medallions but as I figured my cat wouldn't touch it. My cat only eats dry (Science Diet S/D for FLUDT/crystals) and I have never found a wet food she is willing to eat. I was reading some reviews yesterday on the Nature's Variety raw food and there are TONS of them on how this food completely reversed many of their pet's health problems (diabetes, arthritis, UTI's, obesity, etc.). The concept of this diet makes 100% sense to me as well. I just wish I could get my kitty to eat it, or anything else non-dry for that matter.

Good luck to you and your kitties and keep us posted if you find something that works!
Luckely mine love wet food so I don't have kibble addicts. They have no complaints finding wet food in their bowls each feeding and think they are always getting treats. I have always fed raw treats to them, but never with bones. I do with the dogs, but haven't had the guts to with the cats. I cut up some off of the dogs raw meals and occasionally pieces of heart. I'll be getting some more ground trachea and I'm going to see if Zeus (arthritis kitty) likes it. I'll probably puree it a little more because it does have pretty big chunks of hard cartilege in it that I don't think he'll be able to handle. I hope he likes it.
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