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How do I know if Bodhi is overweight?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
The reason I ask is because he has fluffy long hair that it's hard to tell whether he is fat or just "fluffy". He is an 8yo Maine Coon and I'd say he weighs about 14- 15 lbs. He seems to have gained a little since I got him in October and he weighed 13 then.

The main reason I ask is because I also have a 9 month old kitten and feeding them separately just won't work. Both are used to free feeding and sharing bowls, etc. So, I'm stuck trying to keep a kitten growing and keep Bodhi from getting too portly. Sooo, how do I know if he's getting too big?

Would 9 months old be too early to switch to an adult food? Right now, I have them both on Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken and various wet foods.

Thanks for any tips.
post #2 of 14
Depending on the kitten, it may be possible to switch him to adult food. You could also try an all lifestages food.

As for how to tell if Bodhi is overweight, your vet is probably the best place to go to answer that question. Then your vet can also advise on a diet plan!
post #3 of 14
As Nat said, the vet is the best person to ask. A quick and dirty method though is to feel for the ribs. On a cat in good condition, not too fat or two skinny, you ought to be able to feel the ribs, but they shouldn't be horribly bony. If you can't feel the ribs, you're probably in the overweight range.
post #4 of 14
Maine Coons are VERY large cats, my female (at her peak) was 15 pounds and males can get much larger, 18-22 pounds is the breed norm for them.

P.S. we also have a 9 month old kitten who is happily eating adult food and still getting fat from it
post #5 of 14
I feed my cats seperately, because 1 eats really fast and easily puts on weight, 1 eats really slow, and the other one for some reason times his litterbox visits with me serving up dinner, so leaves his bowl unattended for a couple of minutes, and could also stand to gain a few ounces. If left in the same area, the greedy fast eater prone to weight gain would get 3 meals and end up like a beachball and the other 2 would end up as skeletal cats that didn't get enough. If you have cats with different food requirements, you should if at all possible make an effort to feed them seperately. It certainly does no harm to them emotionally/psychologically to feed seperately as cats are not social eaters and in the wild would take their catch to a safe area and eat it in isolation, they would not naturally choose to eat within sight of one another. If I fed all mine together, it would be very difficult to keep a check on each cat's food intake.
post #6 of 14
there's a good cat weight indicator here. basically, look at the cat's figure from both above & behind, & see where he fits on the chart.
using that indicator, 3 of mine are normal, one is a bit overweight [altho she's also a senior - vet said her weight was fine considering her age] & one is heavy.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions!! According to that cat weight indicator, I think Bodhi is probably in the "overweight" category. I can feel a little fat pouch on his belly area and he is a little bit of an oval shape when you look at him from the top. I think I may try taking the food bowls up when I'm gone to work during the day and only feeding measured dry when I get up in the morning. Then when I get home, I usually feed wet food which they both like. I'm already splitting the 6 oz can into 2/3rds for Siddha and 1/3 for Bodhi. That seems to work out fine. The only thing that worries me is getting awakened at 3am by hungry kitties.

We'll see how that works out.

Thanks again everyone!

post #8 of 14
I did do freefeeding with Radar initially, but although he eats slowly he is a complete pig and would eat any amount of food given to him (probably due to his cornish rex half, that breed is known for being quite piggy given half a chance!) so I put him on scheduled feeds at around 5 months. I got the other cats after him and they both went onto scheduled feeds as soon as I got them - Jacob was the least happy with that because he had been freefed for the first year of his life and is a greedy little mister!

But they did all adjust. Cats have a natural hunt/eat/sleep cycle and have not evolved to have either big meals or to have food available all the time - some cats will self-regulate their food intake when a bowl of food is left down for them, but many will find it difficult and eat too much. The high percentage of cats that are obese shows up as a myth the view that cats will only eat what they need and no more.

Yes you may be woken a few times until they get used to it - but it will be better for their longterm health and longevity, I recommend that on the first few nights of their new regime you just put the covers over your ears and don't give in to their pleas - they will get the message if you are consistent.
post #9 of 14
Maine Coons will average about 16-17 for a full grown male, so your cat is fine. I would try to not be free feeding - it only causes overweight cats (most times) and they should not be eating each other's food. Kitten foods put in more weight on an adult cat.
post #10 of 14
That little "pouch" in his belly is from being neutered, not because he's fat. Coco's "pouch" almost hits the floor now because she's old and gravity is not kind
post #11 of 14
Prior too just cutting back see if you can have the vet take a look and weigh Bodhi. I ask this cause many of us have mistaken wether or not kitty was overweight . Cutting food down can cause major issues if that is not an issue
post #12 of 14
The pouch belly is perfectly normal, and the weight is on the normal maine coon range... He is likely not overweight... Maine coons are giants, gentle, but giants!
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by greeneyes86 View Post
That little "pouch" in his belly is from being neutered, not because he's fat. Coco's "pouch" almost hits the floor now because she's old and gravity is not kind
That's not necessarily so even though it is called a "spay sway". Not all neutered cats get a "pouch". The pouch is also to help protect their internal organs in a cat fight. It can also allow them to stretch out when leaping.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the continued replies and suggestions! I am going to take Bodhi to the vet in early April for a check-up and to get a senior blood panel done. I was feeling around on his sides and I can feel his ribs, spine and neck bones. He just has that pouch of fat on his lower belly area that kinda had me worried. Plus, he's SOO fluffy, so it's hard to tell on the big guy. I guess he's probably okay, so I'm not going to reduce the amount of food he gets. We'll see what the vet says in about a month.

Thanks everyone!!!

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