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Fat Cat!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Zane was at the vet today; he weighs twenty pounds. The vet said that he had to loose weight.

The problem is, my schedule is irregular. I had been feeding him one in the AM and once in the PM, but I don't always go home straight from work. Sometimes I run errands, sometimes I go to meetings, etc., and on those days I don't get home until really late, and Zane was frantic to get his dinner.

I bought a time dispenser, a LeBistro, and it was wonderful, except it stopped working after a few weeks. I changed the batteries and it still didn't work. I sent it back. They sent me another and the same thing happened, so forget that.

I had been free-feeding, but that is how he got so fat.

Advice?
post #2 of 28
You could get one of those play balls and make him WORK to eat, by knocking it about to get the treats...

Or feed him when you get up and when you go to bed, or feed him in the morning a day's worth?
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forensic View Post
You could get one of those play balls and make him WORK to eat, by knocking it about to get the treats...

Or feed him when you get up and when you go to bed, or feed him in the morning a day's worth?
The former is an idea. The latter, I'm afraid that he'd eat the whole thing and then be starving and impossible to live with--I'm sure he has Siamese blood, he's so vocal.

Do you have a link to where one could get such a ball?
post #4 of 28
My Jack was 19 pounds at his last appointment, down from 22 one year ago.

My vet wants me to put him on diet cat food...uh, no. What we've done is cut out dry altogether and he eats 1 5.5 oz can of cat food per day (1/2 in the AM, the rest in the evening). The weight is coming off slowly but that's the way it should be.

We recently adopted a new kitten who will be a huge benefit to Jack's weight loss efforts. He chases her everywhere she goes and is burning calories like mad.
post #5 of 28
Try to be regular with your schedule for about a week and slowly make his PM feeding later and later in the evening. Even if you get home on time, you don't have to rush to get him his meal early in the evening. You really don't want to free feed if you want him to lose weight. Did you talk to your vet about switching him over to wet food? I've known cats that lose marvelously when switched from dry to wet.

He'll complain, but heart disease in an overweight cat can be heartbreaking. I've lost 2 that way.

Good luck!
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Try to be regular with your schedule for about a week

Unfortunately, that is not practical.

Thanks for the suggestion, however.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Unfortunately, that is not practical.

Thanks for the suggestion, however.
If that's not practical, serve the PM meal at the latest time you'll be home, even if that is 10PM. It's easier on them if you serve their meals at the same time each day.
post #8 of 28
I have fat cats too...I feed a high quality dry food. 2 cups total per day split 4 ways. 1 cup in the am 1 cup in the pm.
No snacks, treats only after nail clipping, or brushing. And that's not daily. The food I am feeding is about 500 cals per cup. And I know they don't burn that up each day, they sleep too much. Even with all the play we envoke from them. So don't feel bad when you get home late. He will love you even if you don't feed by the clock. And like mine he can live off the fat of the land....so to speak. At least untill you can get home.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
The former is an idea. The latter, I'm afraid that he'd eat the whole thing and then be starving and impossible to live with--I'm sure he has Siamese blood, he's so vocal.

Do you have a link to where one could get such a ball?
Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Multivet-Slimc.../dp/B001D1BNFG

They also have it at Petco online (I'm not sure if it's in stores though!)

We had one of these (Though bigger) for our overweight (and food motivated) corgi, back in the day. She enjoyed pushing it around for the food, though occasionally she got it stuck under something.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forensic View Post
Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Multivet-Slimc.../dp/B001D1BNFG

They also have it at Petco online (I'm not sure if it's in stores though!)

We had one of these (Though bigger) for our overweight (and food motivated) corgi, back in the day. She enjoyed pushing it around for the food, though occasionally she got it stuck under something.
Thanks, Forensic.
post #11 of 28
My boy was too heavy when I adopted him at fours years of age, and sadly, got even fatter at first because I was feeding a more nutrient-rich food than the shelter had. With my vet's help, we figured out a measured amount of dry kibble to leave out during the day (both mine like grazing) and I do give them a bit of wet morning and evening. I have to admit the dry amount was way less than I would have done on my own.

I also tried to get him to exercise a bit more, which he did, bit by bit. I couldn't go just with timed feedings, as my schedule can include unscheduled overtime, and I can totally understand not being able to manage a totally consistent feeding schedule. And my girl is totally into grazing - and she's a perfect weight.

And, yes, he lost weight, has a waist, and the vet is pretty darn happy, as am I.

I hope your vet works with you the way mine did - at this practice, people can bring their 'fat' pets in for free weighings that are recorded by the staff, so that everyone can be sure the weight loss is done in a safe manner. Good luck - I know it's not easy when they look at you so sadly, and hungrily.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
- I know it's not easy when they look at you so sadly, and hungrily.
And loudly!
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forensic View Post
I'm going to order one of those!
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
It came today. I put it down. I don't know what the DSH will make of it.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
He's been a lot more vocal. I'm not sure if he has figured out how to get the kibble out of the ball.
post #16 of 28
We started a diet 1 month ago (i say we because i thought if baby can do it, i can too)
He is on rx diet food, when he started 7.3 7.4 kilo.

I am not sure how often to weight him? once per month?

I am also many hours away from home, so he gets his ration in 3 - breakfast when i wake up, a second part in the middle of the day i get home to change and go for my second shift, and a third one at night before I go to bed.

I had the ball where i put kibbles inside but he was never interested in food that would eventually come out of there, although he loves to play with foam balls and chase the laser.

I've seen that they sell automatic feeders on the web... maybe one of those can suite you?
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronit View Post
I've seen that they sell automatic feeders on the web... maybe one of those can suite you?
I tried that. It stopped working after a couple of weeks. I sent it back and they sent me a new one. It also stopped working after a couple of weeks.
post #18 of 28
what i found worked for frodo was giving up the kibble all together. we tried the ball thing and frodo had no interest in it whatsoever. frodo is a kibble addict and extremely vocal but i figured his life depended on it so i had to make the switch and not look back. he has lost about 2 lbs since the switch in january. he was very vocal in the morning, meowing for an hour or two sometimes, but i didn't give in. i kept to the schedule, when we wake up(well, with the meowing sometimes starting as early as 5 am it was when we got out of bed, i never got up to feed him, only on our regular schedule) and when we go to bed and now, a few months later he is finally getting it, thank goodness! he wasn't meowing for canned food either, he was meowing for kibble but i just didn't give in. i know that he was sad and missing his food but i also know how sad we will be and how much we will miss him if he goes before his time because of the extra weight. (he is glaring at me as i write this ) he has a waist now and is more active and still has about 3-4 lbs to go but it is worth the work and aggravation. he is still a chub but it is slowly melting away.

good luck getting your kitty to lose weight. i know how hard it is to change a cat's food, but it is worth it in the end.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
I figure that if he gets hungry enough he'll investigate the ball. Zane can certainly afford to miss a few meals!
post #20 of 28
you really don't want him to miss too many meals (i understand that was probably a joke). it is dangerous for a cat not to eat for too long. especially if a over weight cat loses weight too fast.

Quote:
Getting an obese cat to lose weight needs to be done gradually… no crash diets allowed! Cats have a unique metabolic response to fasting and whenever a feline’s food intake is rapidly and markedly depressed, a serious and potentially fatal disorder can occur called Hepatic Lipidosis.
i got that from this site http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/catweight.html it is under the weight loss diet section.

i really do hope that Zane uses the ball and he loses the weight in a healthy manner
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
When I got home today I noticed that (a) the ball wasn't where I had left it and (b) there appeared to be less food in it than there had been in the morning.

As I sat here firing up the computer, I saw him poke at the ball and scarf up the kibble that fell out.

So, I think he's finally got it. I'm guessing that when he got hungry he could smell the food inside, gave it a push with his paw, and when some food fell out some connection was formed inside the feline equivalent of a brain.
post #22 of 28
Two (well perhaps 3) of my 4 cats were overweight. I found out a cat needs 30 calories per pound to maintain it's weight and less to lose weight. I measured out 1/3 for my way overweight cat and 2/3 for my other 2. I feed them several times a day (just dry) and a teaspoon or less each time.

They HAVE lost weight!
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Too early to see any effect on Zane the Insane, Cat of Tiny Brain, but (a) he is getting food, just not as much of it and (b) is getting more physical and mental (?) exercise.
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
It is working! I see him batting at the ball with his paw, then following it and scarfing up the bits of kibble. I'm not positive, but I think he's thinner and he's certainly more active.

Short term verdict: Working.

He's going back to the vet at the beginning of July for a teeth cleaning, so we'll see what happens then.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenwales View Post
...he eats 1 5.5 oz can of cat food per day (1/2 in the AM, the rest in the evening).
Are you sure this is healthy? For a 19 lb kitty this is about 1/2 of what he should be eating! IMO this is way too drastic of a diet... I am sorry I need to put this bluntly, but IMHO you are starving your kitty.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Are you sure this is healthy? For a 19 lb kitty this is about 1/2 of what he should be eating! IMO this is way too drastic of a diet... I am sorry I need to put this bluntly, but IMHO you are starving your kitty.
that is actually what my 24 lb cat eats - well, he is down to about 20-21 lbs now and it is what my vet said to feed him for his weight. the vet said he needs around 220 cal/day to lose weight and that is what i feed. he eats one 5.5 oz can a day, or 1/2 a 13 oz can, depending on the calories. i can't just feed any old can, i have to make sure that he gets at least 220 cal. he is not losing fast, he is going down about 1/4-1/2 lb a month and he is more active and happier which makes me happier!
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Are you sure this is healthy? For a 19 lb kitty this is about 1/2 of what he should be eating! IMO this is way too drastic of a diet... I am sorry I need to put this bluntly, but IMHO you are starving your kitty.
You just have to remember that those 1/2-1 ounce per pound feeding amounts are just guidelines (also, I think they're meant to be calculated using ideal weight, not current). What matters is the effect it has on the cat. When I first started Tiny on a diet, I would have thought 1 can / day was insane too, but I'm actually feeding her 3/4 of a can per day right now. I know I'm not starving her because I weigh her every day and she's losing just a bit over 1% per week. Some cats just don't exercise much or have slower metabolisms naturally, so they need a lot less food.
post #28 of 28
My Monster was heavier than most at one point. Even now, everyone who sees him for the first time says "WOW! That is one BIG cat!". I think he looks a lot bigger than he really is, because his fur is long and poofy. Anyway, I knew he was heavier than he was supposed to be. I cut out the dry food. I did that because he ate so much of it and I was worried about crystals forming in his urinary tract. My bf's family lost their cat that way. So, I gradually cut out the dry food, even though he LOVES it. It was hard to do, he still comes whenever he hears a sound similar to shaking dry food sounds like. I haven't fed either of mine dry food in about 4 months, I just started buying more wet food, and upped the feedings. Now they each get 1/4 of a 5.5 oz can every few hours. If I'm not here when its time to eat, someone else in my house feeds them. Monster has lost a few lbs since cutting out dry, and Mittens even looks a little leaner too (They were both a lil cubby). Plus, I think wet food is a ton healthier than dry anyway. Also, I don't see either drinking very often, and so I know they are getting enough moisture from the gravy in the wet.
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