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Cat too fat to clean herself; other cats, so "diet" can't work.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I had two female cats, but we got a pregnancy and ended up with three extra cats we couldn't give away. I don't have any complaints now, except one that will go in the bath if I don't clean his litter, but one of our cats has become huge, while all the other ones are very healthy. Mere obesity would not be so much of an issue, but the problem is that she can't clean her back and I fear that this may be very itchy for her. I think her genitals were stretched during the pregnancy, or something, because it looks quite strange down there and smells awful. She also stinks up the place. She's the only one who doesn't go out that much (very easily afraid) and in with the weather (Quebec), she stays out one minute tops.

I'm not really sure what we can do. Can't restrict her food and I'm a student, so whatever expensive tricks there may be don't seem that attractive, but I can't have a cat who stinks everything she goes on (at least we don't have a carpet; the small one we have in the bathroom gets covered in brown tracks -- her way of cleaning herself).

I had her cleaned professionally, but it didn't take long for her to smell again.

Any suggestions in helping her lose weight? I guess I could lock her out in the cold a few hours a day -- the squirrels are still alive, so she could probably live too --, but because of the weird state of "down there" it might be particularly dangerous for her. I can't feel them seperately, but if I could try and find a cheap weight-loss food and put all the cats on it.

Thank you for your time.

NOTE: She has short hair, the prolem is really the weight, not that it gets stuck or something like that.
post #2 of 13
Take her to the vet and the two of you can set up a game plan...
post #3 of 13
I agree with Sharky. If she's eating a lot, the you and the vet can discuss how much to feed and how often. You might decide to feed all the cats at the same time and not leave food out.

Please don't lock her out in the cold. Instead, play with her a few minutes every day, with a string under the rug or whatever she likes.

I'll bet she's miserable, too, about her smelly behind.

Please keep up posted how it goes.
post #4 of 13
Vet check asap - if she's the only fat cat and she's not gobbling everyone else's food, perhaps there's a metabolic issue. My hairdresser's young cat got very fat - turned out to be a thyroid issue, and has been treated with meds. Also, even with a bunch of cats, you can try measured feedings and even feeding her separately. But you and vet can, as Sharky said, set up a safe, sane, and kind game plan.

Also, about being 'strange down there', you really need a vet's advice ASAP. Perhaps the fee could be a holiday gift to you from family or friends? A student's budget can be tight, I know.
post #5 of 13
First of all: take time to exercise her.... don't lock her outside, that is dangerous. I adopted a cat that was overweight and now he looks fantastic.

The tricks were as follows:

Feeding small amounts multiple times a day, I didn't have to use diet food, however high quality food will help. Cello was on orijens and wellness while losing the weight, however now he is on wellness wet and california natural. (I am a student as well). I've also heard that wet food works best for weight loss. While Cello was on his diet, I fed him small amounts of wet food ~ 4 times a day at ~ the same time each day.

I don't know why you can't seperate her to feed her?! I had to feed my cats in different places. This is your BEST and CHEAPEST option. You have to go slow though, it will take a lot of time and patience.

And finally as I said EXCERCISE EXCERCISE EXERCISE. No different then people, a diet alone won't do. Find any toys she likes to play with, I walked cello everyday for 20+ minutes outside on a harness on top of playing with him, but I realize this isn't practical for everyone.

Finally, I would see the vet about the smell, and about losing weight tips and tricks. Are you sure that 'area' isn't infected or anything, it should probably be checked out. Unfortunately there is no quick or easy fix, but your poor girl needs some help. Let us know how it goes
post #6 of 13
Has she been spayed? Have any of them been spayed?

I would be concerned with the odour. If she is not spayed I would be concerned about a uterine infection (pymeta ?? not sure of the spelling).

If it is a uterine infection, it could be life-threatening.

I also don't advocate "locking her out in the cold", especially in Quebec this time of year. That would be inhumane and cruel to say the least.

Please take her to a decent vet (go to a different one if possible) to have her thoroughly checked. I honestly think there is more going on with her than just not being able to clean herself.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
After I had her cleaned, she smelled fine. I believe that the smell is mostly due to her being unable to clean herself; I'm not under the impression that she's got an infection, at least not if it's visible and always smells (even after being cleaned), but it's very possible that she would develop one.

As for eating, she does seem to eat more than the other cats. And she doesn't go out as much. The reason I don't see splitting the diets as realistic is in part because the number of cats, but one thing is that I have never gave cats any diet whatsoever. I just give them food when I notice that there's none left; I'm also the kind of person who just eats when he wants to eat, rather than at specific times of the day.

I guess I'll have to see a vet after the holidays, see what they have to say. Both females have been spayed. She's maybe three years and it was done two years ago, I believe. The reason I say her genitals look bad is that they seem "stretched", so they're out in the open. If I recall, this was a problem before too -- I had a party and a friend noticed this not long after she gave birth (might have been like this before too, I don't know) --, but it didn't seem particularly strange when I came back from a six-month trip and she was now too fat to clean herself.

Thank you all.
post #8 of 13
I'd at least have them really check her genitals carefully. Sounds like you are on the right track with that.
post #9 of 13
I have seven cats and one manx female was so large that she could not clean her back--so the hair matted.

Shortly after this issue developed, I switched the whole crew to wet food only. They get fed twice a day. I do not babysit feeding time, and the cats do not finish all the food at once...the hungry ones go back and eat more. Even without me policing feeding time, my manx has slimmed down and can now clean herself. I noticed a difference after only a couple of weeks.

I feed California Natural Salmon and Sweet Potato. I have an allergy kitty, so I do not rotate food.

I would encourage you to get the kitty checked out by your vet and run some bloodwork to ensure she doesn't have anything medically going on, and then switch all of your kitties over to a high-quality wet food.
post #10 of 13
If you feed all the cats the proper food for the species then i would imagine that the problem may resolve. That would mean canned foods no grains or a raw food diet.
Please read about feline nutrition
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by optionken View Post
If you feed all the cats the proper food for the species then i would imagine that the problem may resolve. That would mean canned foods no grains or a raw food diet.
Please read about feline nutrition
ONE size does NOT fit all //// while most will say wet will aid in wt loss there are cats who have Gained on such diet ... the vet is the ONE who needs to be consulted
post #12 of 13
Glad you're taking her to the vet. The genital thing sounds like it definitely needs to be examined by a vet. Maybe the cat's smell is due to a problem with anal glands, rather than her cleaning ability.
post #13 of 13
What are you feeding? Are all cats fed together? Are cats allowed to free feed?
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