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How do I put one kitten on a diet in a multi-cat household?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am having trouble figuring out how to put just one cat on a diet? I have 8 cats here. 5 are littermates (foster kittens) but only one is overweight. A few of the kittens are on the thin side as is my senior cat Sneakers. They are all eating Orijen dry, Sneakers also gets canned food (the kittens won't touch it.)

The kittens all get plenty of exercise but one kitten is overweight. I can't figure out how to put him on a diet when there are 7 other cats in the house who eat the same food from the same place... The kittens don't like canned food. The only thing I could think of is to keep the overweight kitten in a room by himself and measure out his food. The problem with that is that means he would either have to be alone 24/7 which would make him miserable, or he would have to be alone in the room all day and then I could put the kittens in the room with him at night with no food, but if I did that none of the kittens would get any food for 10-12 hours during the night. I can't figure out how to do this.


Fat cat:

post #2 of 18
Most vets recommend that you free-feed all kittens as much as they want, until at least the age of two — because they're still growing. Once your cat is two years old, then take stock of his adult weight and make your decision. Until then, I wouldn't place a kitten or adolescent cat on a restricted diet. In that picture, he doesn't look very overweight.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
He has been growing very large since he was about 5 months old, he outweighed all his littermates by then... When he was about 5-6 months old he started getting a large stomach and I was worried he might have an illness-- my vet said he could have fluid in his abdomen, so I brought him to work with me at the vet office and she felt his stomach and said it was just fat. He had an x-ray too which was normal (we got a new x-ray machine so she asked if I wanted to x-ray him while we were there.)

He is now 7-8 months old and he weighs about 11 pounds. He has a stomach which hangs down and it swings when he walks. He is much wider than his littermates and his stomach sticks out at the sides. He does get plenty of exercise, he chases the other kittens around the house and I play with him with wand toys (although he doesn't jump for the toy very much.)
post #4 of 18
How overwt did the vet say?? some cats are just built bigger my Punky is one
post #5 of 18
He doesn't look overweight at all, at least on that picture. One idea is to increase the amount of wet food he gets - the more wet he gets, the less dry he will eat. Dry food does pack more calories than wet...
Good luck!
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
How overwt did the vet say?? some cats are just built bigger my Punky is one
My mind also went to this question. I've never heard of putting a kitten on a diet before. They often grow in spurts - first up, then out, then up, then out. Most will even out over time.

For adult cats, I always try to increase their exercise first before I go to changing what I feed them. Does he play as much as others?
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
The vet didn't say how overweight, she just said that he was overweight. He has been for several months now. He is also a large cat, he has a big head and paws but he also has a big wide stomach and when you put your hands on his stomach it swings around, and you can feel a lot of squishy fat underneath...
post #8 of 18
Eleven pounds is not an unusual size for a cat, even if his littermates are smaller. Remember that kittens in the same litter can have different fathers, so that one may be from a father with a larger build, while the others are offspring of a smaller cat.

Some cats' stomachs tend to sag after they're neutered; it's not a weight issue.

In any case, don't restrict the cat's diet until he's at least two. He's 11 pounds, looks normal in the photo, and is active and playful. It sounds like he's fine, and I wouldn't even put him on a diet after age two, if he continues to look the way he does in that photo.
post #9 of 18
What does he look like from above while he's standing up?

If his stomach still tucks in I shouldn't think he's too overweight.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
The vet didn't say how overweight, she just said that he was overweight. He has been for several months now. He is also a large cat, he has a big head and paws but he also has a big wide stomach and when you put your hands on his stomach it swings around, and you can feel a lot of squishy fat underneath...
Is he neutered???

Neutered kitties get a pouch in the belly area.... normal but nothing you can do about it.

- 11lbs for 8mos isn't bad. Do you have a pic of him standing up?
- I'm with the other posters in saying I've never heard of putting a kitten on a diet..... they grow in a year about the same as humans do in 12yrs. He may grow upwards now.

- if your vet is adamant about him being overweight then he should've given you an idea as to what to do for feeding. Perhaps you can call them and ask about it.

- or perhaps a second opinion from a different vet would be a good idea mainly because most vets wouldn't suggest putting a growing kitten on a diet.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forensic View Post
What does he look like from above while he's standing up?

If his stomach still tucks in I shouldn't think he's too overweight.
From above his sides bulge outward when he is standing up.


I'll try to get some standing photos of him and post them.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I tried to take photos but Spot didn't want to cooperate so these are the best I could get... The cat with him in the second photo is Harlequin, his littermate who is small but in good condition (she won 1st place in a cat show this weekend.)



Harlequin is at the top, Spot is at the bottom-
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Remember that kittens in the same litter can have different fathers, so that one may be from a father with a larger build
What? Really? Can someone explain this to me.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzMugly View Post
What? Really? Can someone explain this to me.
As I understand it the female releases eggs to be fertilized after being mated. This may be by different males on different days (this is why some kittens in a litter can be well developed and others premature). The only way to be certain only one tom is the father is to monitor the breeding in a controlled environment (or twins sharing one placenta, I suppose).
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
It would seem odd that the kittens would have different fathers and yet all look so much alike though... The mother of these kittens (feral) was a solid black cat. All the kittens are either brown tabby or brown torbie, mostly with white markings. They do vary in size but their colors vs. size do not match up in a way that suggests different fathers. For example the smallest kitten Harlequin is a brown ticked torbie with white markings and Spot, the largest, is a brown ticked tabby with white markings. In other words their coloration is almost identical except Harlequin is torbie (tabby and tortie) but that is because she is a female.
post #16 of 18
I've looked at the from-above photos, and again, the kitten doesn't look overweight to me. There's some post-neuter sag to the belly, but that's not about diet.

The other kitten is extremely trim — the feline ideal — but not all cats are that way. They differ in natural build. Both kittens look like they're within a normal weight range, and they're not done growing.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok I just weighed them again on my brother's very accurate (expensive) postal scale.
Spot now weighs 11 pounds 15 oz.-- so just an ounce under 12 lbs. The other kitten in the photo, Harlequin, weighs 5 pounds 13 oz. The 2 other male kittens in the litter both weigh about 8 1/2 lbs. The other female kitten (Tiger) weighs 7.3 pounds.
post #18 of 18
11 or 12 pounds are both fine for a male cat. Again, he looks all right in the photos, is healthy and active, and is not matured yet. An adolescent cat should not be put on a diet.
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