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Several issues I need help with

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, for one I have 3 adult cats, 2 male, one female. I'm here for help with my female.

Her name is Hotaru, she's a small cat, but she's very fat, meaning she weighs over 16 pounds. I don't overfeed her, I regulate her food as much as possible, but the problem is I have 2 other cats, and they all like to eat throughout the day, so it's not like I can put away their bowls and keep hers down, or the other way around. But I know she needs to lose weight and not sure how. I live in an apartment complex where we're not allowed to have pets, but we do anyway, so we let them out at night. We live in a duplex style complex, and we're on the bottom floor with our own patio, so the other two will jump onto the fence, and she used to as well, but now she just lies on the patio. She also has heavy breathing due to her weight. I need some help finding out how to help her lose weight.

Also, recently she's been having a hard time going #2. She can urinate fine though. She'll go back and forth from the litter box (yes I keep it very clean) several times before it comes out, and even then it's sometimes a smaller amount than i would think. Just recently she's started going on the floor, like she can't control it, but it's always in the same spot.

The last problem is she gets hair balls or something, but she won't puke it up! She'll heave and heave but then swallow it. I don't think that's a good thing, but I don't know how to stop it.


Any ideas on any of these issues separately or all together? I really need some advice cause I'm very low of funds and can't go to a vet on a whim.
post #2 of 8
I can only suggest something for the eating. You must have a room with doors in your home. Can you feed the two cats in that room, and make sure that they finish their food before you let them out. Then, at the same time, your female could eat her food away from them.
This is a change from how they like to eat...but changes have to be made if you want her to lose weight.
Do they all get dry food? Maybe switch to wet...it's lower in carbs and calories.
Can you try to exercise her...just a little bit...with a toy, or laser beam or chase her a little bit to get her moving.

It is difficult to get a sedentry cat to lose weight.

I can't comment on her other problems....I don't have experience with those. Regarding the elimination problem...a Vet would be the best person to see about that. Hairballs...well, all cats have them.

Good Luck!!
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lydia_ravenswoo View Post
Ok, for one I have 3 adult cats, 2 male, one female. I'm here for help with my female.

Her name is Hotaru, she's a small cat, but she's very fat, meaning she weighs over 16 pounds. I don't overfeed her, I regulate her food as much as possible, but the problem is I have 2 other cats, and they all like to eat throughout the day, so it's not like I can put away their bowls and keep hers down, or the other way around. But I know she needs to lose weight and not sure how. I live in an apartment complex where we're not allowed to have pets, but we do anyway, so we let them out at night. We live in a duplex style complex, and we're on the bottom floor with our own patio, so the other two will jump onto the fence, and she used to as well, but now she just lies on the patio. She also has heavy breathing due to her weight. I need some help finding out how to help her lose weight.

Also, recently she's been having a hard time going #2. She can urinate fine though. She'll go back and forth from the litter box (yes I keep it very clean) several times before it comes out, and even then it's sometimes a smaller amount than i would think. Just recently she's started going on the floor, like she can't control it, but it's always in the same spot.

The last problem is she gets hair balls or something, but she won't puke it up! She'll heave and heave but then swallow it. I don't think that's a good thing, but I don't know how to stop it.


Any ideas on any of these issues separately or all together? I really need some advice cause I'm very low of funds and can't go to a vet on a whim.
1. what kind of food do you feed (brand)? wet or dry?

2. do you ever feed wet food (canned)? Older cats really benefit from canned food; canned food is up to 65% water and the extra fluids are helpful to aging kidneys. Can help with the issue of constipation that can occur in older cats.

3. Sounds like kitty is really straining to poop and when she does, she's not going that much. How long has it been since she had an annual vet checkup that included basic bloodwork and urinalysis? constipation can be a sign of dehydration and dehydration can be a sign of underlying health issues: diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism. Bloodwork can reveal all of these.

4. If she's coughing like she's trying to hork up a furball but nothing comes out, it could be that she's somewhat plugged up. In cats, ingested fur (from grooming) is often passed normally through their bowels (pooping). Or, if pretty large, they'll try to cough it up. If you have a cat that's straining to poop, is pooping small amounts and is trying to cough up a furball but isn't having any luck, sorry - a good checkup at the vet is imperative. To not address this can potentially lead a cat to developing a partial or full bowel obstruction; which is life threatening, painful, an emergency and can cost tons of $$ for surgery.

5. The fact that kitty seems short of breath is also a concern. Could be that the obesity has put a strain on her heart and she's got some undiagnosed heart issues. Shortness of breath should always be investigated, it's definitely not at all normal.

Please find a way to get kitty to the Vet for a good check-up. The symptoms you describe are sure not normal and they need to be assessed and addressed...sooner than later.

If affording the Vet is an issue (which is understandable to most people), here's a link that gives info on what to do if faced with this kind of situation.........and many on these forums have used "Care Credit" to assist with Vet bills....check out the link about it:

http://www.thecatsite.com/Health/76/...erinarian.html

http://www.carecredit.com/

Also, some Vets, if you ask, are willing to allow you to give them post-dated checks to cover the cost of the bill(s); spaced out over time. You just need to ask about this. Some Vets are great and willing to work with customers/clients
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I just switched them to Iams Weight control. I've been changing their dry food around every few months cause they get bored easily. I also feed them 1/3 of a can each of Friskies Poultry wet food.

One problem is, we have 2 litter boxes, one ina hallway, one in the bathroom tub, cause we'r ein a one bedroom apartment. The annoying part one of my males, Vincent, will watch her when she tries to go, and I can tell it bothers her. But I can't keep shoving him away all time. He also tries to hump her a lot, but he mostly humps her bottom, near her tail cause she's too big for him. Yes they're both fixed, so I don't know why he does it.

I can tell it's not a hair ball most of the time. She'll eat too quick and her body won't be happy with it, but she won't allow herself to puke. She likes her food too much!

The odd thing is, she'll breath heavy on and off for no good reason. She's fine half the time.

She's pretty active already with having Vincent to run around with, but I also got a laser pointer for her to chase.

I can't go on Care Credit, I had to do that for something for myself, couldn't pay it, so now have bad credit.

I can't lock her or them in a separate room because of several reasons. For one Hotaru and Vincent hate the other male, Patches. Or more like Vincent doesn't want Hotaru around Patches and Vincent and Patches hate each other. the only room with a door is the bedroom, but it doesn't lock, the frame is warped, so Vincent can open it. Or he'll fight Patches while they're in there. The men also don't like to eat right away. They know how to regulate. I can't put her in there cause she doesn't like to be in the bedroom without someone there, and I hate being in the bedroom cause I've got nothing to do except sleep. All in all, they all have to be in the same room.

In the end I need to find a way to do this from home. There's no real way to take her. I have my own med bills to take care of.

So does anyone know of some high fiber and high protein foods to give her?
post #5 of 8
WEight control food is pointless and actually probably worse for an overweight cat. It has less protein and fat but more carbs. Cats thrive on a high protein high fat diet. You need to switch to an all wet diet--higher quality than friskies if possible--it may cost more per can but they should eat less because the quality is higher.

Regardless of what your cats want the only way your female will lose weight is if you switch to scheduled feedings. So you have to make the decision on what is best for your cats as a whole--obesity can lead to many many health problems and it appears it already has started to.

Can you find a vet who will let you pay in installments?

I will be completely honest, this cat needs to see a vet, and if you cannot afford a vet, you need to surrender her to the care of someone who can. It is not fair for her to suffer. As pet owners we must be prepared for situations like these. We would never withhold medical care for our human children and we should never withhold medical care for our fur children.

leslie
post #6 of 8
Sounds like having 3 cats in a small 1 bedroom apartment is maybe too many cats?

For the one who doesn't like to be watched while in the litterbox, can you at least afford to buy a hooded litterbox? They come in various sizes and prices. You can get them probably the cheapest at a place like Walmart. If it's the kind with a door-flap, I'd suggest removing the door (it snaps on and off). I've yet to find a cat that likes/will walk through a flap and you certainly don't want to have a cat that won't use a litterbox because of this). It's got a handle on the top so easy to carry. Here's a picture of what I mean:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2755056

I have 5 cats and 7 litterboxes in my basement storage area. I have 2 of these covered/hooded ones because I have 2 cats that don't appreciate an audience when doing their business. Works very well.

Hate to tell you, too, but sometimes the "weight management" foods (lite, etc) are not much of a help with weight reduction. What they do is remove some of the fat content but then they replace this with a lot more carbs. High carbs in an obese cat definitely puts the cat at risk of developing diabetes. I'd go back to the regular food if I was you. I made this mistake for years, back before I knew much about cat food........and I was stupidly feeding my obese cat (he was about 20 lbs then) Science Diet Lite........he ended up at 23.5 lbs for the longest time. Of course he 'free fed', too (versus scheduled feeding times) and he was a glutton. He ended up developing diabetes and I attribute this to all the carbs in the food, his poor pancreas just couldn't handle it anymore.

With a cat the size of yours (16 lbs), you should read up on feline diabetes because this kitty is definitely at risk for it......and you need to know the symptoms to watch for. www.felinediabetes.com is the best site.

The breathing issues of the one cat, whether or not it's regular or not, still needs to be properly investigated. Nobody here can help you with that.

You could buy a tube of furball remedy.........comes in various flavors, any pet supply/food store will sell it. Give it to the cat that has pooping / coughing issues.........but again, the issue could be due to dehydration that's caused by something else. It's kind of risky to guess.

Add a little water to the canned food you feed. Feed more canned food than dry. I have older indoor cats. I feed them canned twice a day. I always add a little water to the food on the plate, mix it up...nuke it in the microwave for about 15 seconds (warmed food is always more palatable to a cat)..........it's definitely not a soupy consistency but not so thick.........the added fluids are important for older cats...........to help their kidneys and help prevent constipation.

A little bit of pure canned pumpkin can help with constipation (pure, can find it in any grocery store........make sure it's not the pie filling one that has spices)....can mix with their canned food. That being said, if a cat is dehydrated for whatever reason, it could make things worse. Fiber draws fluid into the bowels...but if a cat is dehydrated there's no fluid to draw from and you could make constipation worse.

Is there any way you can at least find out what it would cost for a vet checkup and some basic bloodwork and maybe borrow that $ from a friend or family member? Do you have something you can sell? Cats' health and wellbeing isn't a "do it yourself" kind of deal. Our cats count on us to take care of them, just like children would. While these forums are great for basic info and learning each others' experiences, it's not a substitute for proper Veterinary care and should never be used as such....for to do so could very negatively impact a cat's health and life.

Do you have a humane society or SPCA in your area? Call them, explain that you're on a very small budget and ask if there is a Vet who would be able to see your cat at a reduced cost.

Or talk to your own Vet and ask if you could give post-dated checks to cover the cost of a check-up and basic bloodwork. Your 16 lb cat is definitely at risk for various health issues due to obesity............and needs to be tested for kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, constipation, heart disease, etc. Putting this off will surely end up costing you more down the road.
post #7 of 8
These are my random thoughts in no particular order.

Most likely, all the conditions are linked to the food issue. Although you try to regulate her food it's not working because you're free-feeding the others. You're going to have to go to serving set portions and scheduled feedings. The others will adjust. Belive you me, it will be harder on you than on them, but the benefit of doing this will far outweigh the pains of adjusting on your part.

You also need to get her moving and playing/jumping. The more physically active she is, the more weight she'll lose and the better her bowel movements will be. I don't know how it works, but I know it does because I've seen it in my own cat who was overweight. Even putting her food up on the counter or a raised surface where she has to jump up/down will be beneficial. Get some interactive toys (wand toys or a wad of paper tied to the end of a string will work) and entice her to play.

If you switch to a mostly canned diet, you'll see good success with the weight issue. I feed my girls Wellness grain free (because I have a herpes cat and grains are bad for them) supplemented with some canned pumpkin and raw chicken we grind up in our blender. This has helped my older cat tremendously with her weight and bowel movements. I also add some water to the wet food cocktail which helps with their water intake. They both get dry crunchies, but the bulk of their food intake is canned.

This is what I've learned about dry food. It's loaded with carbs, which are just as bad for cats as for humans, and it sucks the moisture from a kitty's system which creates more firm stools that are harder to pass.

Grooming your cat daily will help cut down on the furball problem. Also, you can add about a teaspoon of plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to you cat's wet food to help pass the furballs and soften stools.

Also, please be sure to read the cat nutrition forum here. Sharky is really patient and knowledgeable on cat nutrition and helping people understand what's good for a cat and what's not. You'll also find lots of support to transition to canned and/or increasing the amount of canned food.
post #8 of 8
One more thought. It may not be hairballs at all. It could be asthma or heart problems, among other possible health issues. I thought one of my cats had hairballs and it turned out to be asthma. So, exercise could make it much worse without knowing what is wrong. Only a vet can determine what the problem might be. Hope things get better soon.
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