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overweight cat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me? This is the first cat we have owned and I think he's overweight. He's only a year old and he's neutered. But he has this big sack of fatty skin that just hangs from his body. Is this normal? When he lays down he just has this big belly lying there. I used to just leave food out for him. But for the last 2 months I have only been feeding him 1/2 cup of Iams Weight Control in the morning and 1/2 cup at night. He acts like he's starving every time I feed him.
Also, we are getting ready to move from overseas (Italy) to California and I was hoping someone might have any ideas on how best to travel with Pepper to make it easiest on him. We are hopefully bringing him in the cabin with us.

Any suggestions you guys have would be so great. Like I said, this is the first cat we've ever owned and I LOVE him - I don't think I could own a dog again. Anyways, thanks so much!
post #2 of 10
In terms of him being over weight, I'm not sure. I read another thread that was talking about the skin that hangs off of the cats and that is normal. If you are really curious, you could take him to the vet to be weighed, or give him a bath so you can really see his belly. With traveling, I don't think they allow pets in the cabin with you. I believe they have to go below. The easiest way is to have them partially knocked out. Not totally, but just enough so they are groggy. It can be very tramatic to travel with pets, so just make sure they have something with them that reminds them of home. A blanket, or toy or anything. Even a shirt of yours could comfort them. Always make sure they have food and water. I'm not sure what to do with a litter box. Maybe hissy could give you better advice. Yea for you for moving to California! Where in CA are you going (north, south)?
post #3 of 10
I think the tummy flap is pretty normal in many cats. Some of mine have it and some don't. Even after one of mine lost weight his tummy flap remained. As long as you can easily feel (but not see) the ribs and backbone your cat is most likely not overweight.
Here is a chart that may help you decifer whether he is overweight or not:

And another good article:
post #4 of 10
My cats also acted like they were starving when I meal fed them. Is it possible for you to feed 4 (1/4 cup) meals rather than 2 (1/2 cup) meals? This may help keep him better satisfied.
post #5 of 10
I can't help you with the travel portion of your question. I'll leave the travel advice to someone on the board with more experience.

I do however, have some insights into weight management for you to consider. If you determine your cat is overweight/obese, I wish to caution you to not place him on a weight loss program without the strict supervision of a vet. Obese/overweight cats are proned to a potentially fatal liver disease called Hepatic Lipidosis, or more commonly, Fatty Liver Disease. Cats by nature are slim creatures. Before domestication, they ate in the wild where food sources were scarce. Consequently, a feline's physiology is not capable of carrying an abundance of fat. If a domestic feline is overweight, and is, for whatever reasons, inappropriately cut back on it's calorie intake, the body starts to consume fat. Because the liver isn't capable of breaking down the fat cells that accumulate the liver becomes over burdened. Thusly, the liver begins to shut down. This disease seems to come on slowly, then hit all of a sudden. Usually by the time you've gotten a clue that your cat isn't feeling well, you're darn near too late to help him.

I don't mean to scare you; I just want you, and others, to be aware that a "Fat Cat" is not something we, as cat owners, should be proud of. I commend you for being concerned about his weight. I know a lot of cat owners who poo-poo weight management because they mislead themselves into believing their cat's happiness is proportional to it's weight. I know I did. I laughed at my vet years ago when he said that Bleu needed to loose weight. If I only knew then what I know now about Fatty Liver Disease ...
post #6 of 10
Yes you can bring your kitty on the plane. It does cost a little extra. Please check with the airlines you are planning to use and find out their requirements. The best is to get a soft sided carrier. Food and water will lead to potty problems as the crate will be too small for a litter box.

Breaking the feedings into smaller portions more frequently will help the "starved kitty syndrome"

Best of luck and make sure to get a health certificate to bring with you and all shots are current.

Good luck with the move! I live in California where are you going to settle here?
post #7 of 10
There is an excellent article on site about traveling with cats. The link is here:

Traveling with Cats
post #8 of 10
You can't always bring your pet to travel with you... I think it depends on things like the airline, the country, the lenght of the fly, and also the pet size.

When I moved from NC to Hong Kong, I had to contact UA cargo service. And I think it was better for all, because Mui Mui could travel in a bigger cage (big enough for her to stand and lay down)... If she had had to travel with me in the plane cabin, she would have been confined in a small carrier.. and probably she would have cried for hours during the fly (which would be very annoying for other passengers).

Please make sure do to all the requiered paperwork, so your pet can enter the US without any problem....

One more thing...If your are going to ship your pet as a cargo, you should not sedate it (they say it is dangerous.. but I guess they also want to make sure your pet is alive and healthy)... check also with your airline what size of carrier you should bring your pet in... the carrier should be airline proved... You should also provide some food and water in the carrier.
post #9 of 10
I have flown 3 cats on airplanes. The general policy at that time (10 years ago) was that kittens could fly in the plane, and adult cats only if they were nursing their kittens. Most will ask that you stow them underneath. You can typically hand check them at the gate so you can be with them until you are ready to board. They will hand carry them off the plan and give them to you at your destination.

I did give mine a slight tranquilizer prior to boarding. Talk to your vet about what strength you will need based on your cat's size. You will also be required to prove their health with a certificate from the vet. The airlines required that proof. Have no clue about foreign country requirements.
post #10 of 10
How are your cats getting through quarantine?
i know alitalia lets you travel with pets... they have a special option for people with pets...
good luck...
i notice this is your first post...
Hope we see more of you at TCS!
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