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He acts like he's starving...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a 2 y.o. red tabby...up until a month ago, I just kept his food bowl filled, I assumed that he'd eat when he was hungry and no other time. Whoops!! He started getting really fat. I put him on the "diet" cat food for overweight adult cats...one cup a day, a fraction of what he'd been putting away before. According to the bag, that should be fine. But I'm worried. He wolfs down his cup of food in the morning and when I get home from work, just begs and begs and begs for more food like he's starving. He's NOT thin, he looks healthy to a little bit chubby. I'm worried because I don't want him to be unhealthy by overfeeding him...but why is he acting like this, and how long is it going to last??? Thanks!!
post #2 of 11
I think you made the change in his diet too abruptly - he was used to a full bowl of food and now he's down to a drastically reduced portion. Imagine yourself being used to 3 meals per day and suddenly eating just one...

You're right to worry about his weight. Obesity in cats can cause health problems just as it can in people so it's wise to change his eating habits while he's still young.

Dry food contains lots of carbs which has the same effect on cats as it does on us. Most cats don't need to be free-fed dry food 24/7. As far as the recommended amount to feed that's on the bag, those are just general guidelines. Each cat's needs are different depending on age, health, activity level.

Sounds like your kitty would benefit from being fed two main meals per day instead of free feeding. Get him a high quality canned food - it's much healthier than a steady diet of dry. Look for a food with no by-products or anything artificial. Feed him a measured amount, maybe start with 2-3 tablespoons. You can sprinkle a few pieces of the dry on it to help him get used to it. You'll probably have to adjust the amount depending on any weight loss or gain that you see. Weight loss takes time, so be patient.

You could also give him a SMALL mid-day snack of just a few pieces of dry - leave it in an automatic feeder if you won't be home. This may help him get used to the new way of feeding and cut down on his begging. When you determine the optimum amount to feed him am and pm, you can eventually cut out the snack, or just give it occasionally.

Exercise will help slim your boy down too. Get some new interactive toys (wand toys with feathers, mice, etc. attached, or a Cat Dancer) and have a couple of play sessions each day. Besides, you want to reward him for being such a good boy about his new diet!
post #3 of 11
try giving him his cup of food in groups, like one half in the mroning, adn one hafl at night. that way he doesnt have to go all day without food I think that those bags are wrong and cruel.. no person could go on something liek that all day, which would basically just fill your stomach. Maybe in crease the food to 1 1/2 cups, and give him a 1/2 cup in teh morning, 1/2 cup when you geth ome and 1/2 cup at night. and make sure to play with him alot. diet doesnt help when you dont excersize too.
post #4 of 11
You may want to consider feeding your fellow the high end of the range suggested on the diet food under feeding guidelines...they usually will say for instance that if a cat weights 6 to 8 lbs. feed "up to" x amt. If he's at the high end on weight, give him the higher amt. of food that is suggested.

I would def. split his feedings up - try half in the am and half at night, and during the day, try using a treat ball (there are several on the market) with a few pieces of food inside...he'll get some good exercise trying to get his snack during the day
post #5 of 11
You might also want to weigh your cat to make sure he isn't loosing weight too quickly. My vet wanted Annabelle to lose 1.5lbs in one year. We have to weigh her to make sure she doesn't lose too much too fast. The vet also recommended several small meals through the day. Usually I give her 3/4 a cup of dry food total, in two meals, and a pouch of wet food.
post #6 of 11
It sounds like maybe the diet food is not satisfying him. Can't you just give him the rgular food but in the morning and at night?
post #7 of 11
most diet foods contain 25-40 % less calories and way more carbs than the regular..Ie giving you a cup of rice instead of a chn breast... In human terms a 2000 reg that is like going to 1500 to as little as 1200 a day wouldnt you act starving??? I would do the high end also and smaller meals
post #8 of 11
I think red tabbies have a tendency to be big cats. Mine was very large (his top weight was 25 pounds) and he was still around 17 when he passed away. He too would wolf down his food (and purr while he ate). One trick to get him to slow down a bit would be to spread his food out on a flat surface, like a cookie sheet. He might not feel as starved if he eats more slowly. Definitely break up his feedings into two or more small meals. Good luck!
post #9 of 11
I wouldn't put him on any type of self-imposed diet without speaking to your vet first. It can be really dangerous to put him on limited food, depending on how obese he was before you started. God forbid he get feline hepatic lipidosis -
post #10 of 11
I've heard of putting a ping pong ball or superball or something else little that he can't swallow by accident in the bottom of the dish to slow them down too. Worth a shot maybe.
post #11 of 11
I believe it is a tennis ball and I have heard some says it works
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