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Serious weight issue

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Took my large foster cat to the vets today and he weighs in at 8.96kg, dont know what it is in pounds sorry, but extremely heavy, even the weights on the obesity diet don't go up that high!! The vet has basically said that he needs to lose 3kg as he is at a serious risk of a lot of health probs (which i knew anyway, but he has only been here 2 weeks). I have to feed him light food, and if it isnt making a difference in 6 weeks he has to go on obesity food. He has brown teeth, but there is no way they can put him under an anaesthetic due to his size. He is going to stay as a long term foster till we have got his weight reduced by a fair bit. Any tips to get him to lose weight? Premium food is an issue as i live in the UK and we dont have a decent pet shop nearby, so he is on James Wellbeloved at the moment - apparently he needs high fibre foods to fill him up!!
post #2 of 17
Can you interest him in play behavior at all? Adding a little exercise to the mix certainly won't hurt. If it were me, (it isn't, but if it were), I might concentrate on getting his weight down to the point where the vet is comfortable with doing the dental. I think once you address the teeth, the rest might (stress emphasis on MIGHT) be a little more self-correcting.

As for food, I hate dry cat food. I know there are those out there who will disagree with me and as always, they are certainly entitled to their opinions, but I just think dry food is so bad for cats. Maybe you could try to increase the wet food and decrease the dry food (less calories in the canned food than in dry) and see if that won't help with the weight loss. Of course, do it gradually, you don't want to upset the liver ... best of luck,

post #3 of 17
I agree with the above. Try, if he will do any kind of chase play, using a wand toy with him for 10-15 minutes a day, and put his food in a place where he must go up or down a flight of stairs to get to it.
post #4 of 17
1 KG = 2.2 Pounds

So your kitty weights 19.7 pounds.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Luckily, he will play and is quite agile - he can get up and down a 6ft bed, although it has since been separated to 2 x 3ft as i was concerned about the long term effect it would have on his joints. As he will be here long term, he is also allowed outside when i feel he will come back to me, am going to try him on a collar and lead first. I dont like a purely dry food diet, especially not as he is a prime candidate for cystitis, but the dry food i have has more fibre than the wet. If he does have to go on the obesity diet, he will be given wet food as part of his diet, but at the moment cystitis is the lesser of two evils. What is really annoying is that his owners let him get to this stage, and now it is at the stage where he will start suffering for it, they just wanted rid of him. My cats both got told how lucky they were last night.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
His diet wont be easy, he has only been given dry food only for 24 hours and he isn't eating it all (although i am suspecting part of that could be due to the fact he really resented going to the vets last night - i have the scratches to prove it). he ate about half of last night's tea and none of breakfast, although i have just given him some Purina Senior food (same fibre content, but less meat and rice content), and he has eaten half of that. think he will have to have reduced dry and more wet to keep him eating, as i know he is facing serious health risks if he doesnt eat enough. Might get a couple of the obesity pouches when i am at the vets on Thurs (am reluctant to go to the vets tomorrow for it - it is my week off work and i have done two trips to the vets already, plus Thurs trip!!) - more expensive than normal pouches, but i think it will be worth it if there is a chance it will prevent other probs.
post #7 of 17
Sounds like a good plan. Keep us posted!
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Diet isnt going good!! He isnt eating nearly as much as before he went to the vets, even though I haven't changed his food and if anything, have given him more!! Last time he went to the vets though, he was taken by his owner, left for 24 hours, picked up by a stranger and brought here, so it isn't too surprising. I tried cutting his chunks in gravy up in case that helps, as he does lick all the gravy up, and putting a bit of hot water and gravy granules in his dry food to entice him, cutting his food up was marginally successful. Have just read on another thread about mashing the food up, so will try that in the morning. He is weighed again a week on Mon.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Tom was weighed yesterday - in 3 1/2 weeks he has gone from 8.96kg to 8.85kg. It is a step in the right direction, but only a small step, so need to work harder on the exercise and diet. He is now allowed outdoor access, and has the run of the house, rather than kept in the cats room, so it should all help towards his exercise. He is also fed at the top of the stairs to encourage him to keep walking up and down them.
post #10 of 17
I am just relieved and happy for him (and you) that there was a loss, it is a good step in the right direction
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I suppose it is. I was even more pleased as my overweight male (well, not really overweight compared to Tom, but could lose a kilo) had gone from 5.44 to 5.48 in the same time period!!
post #12 of 17
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Here is a pic of the man in question!!

post #14 of 17
Ooh what a cutie..and yes, a bit stout
post #15 of 17
OK Long post here...

We got Scully 18 months ago, he was 7 years old and 33lbs, his stomach had rubbed against the carpet so much it had rubbed away his skin and his teeth were awful (and due to his size he also couldn't have anything done because he could not be have anaesthetic at that size).

Our vet (like every vet) recommended Hills Science Diet Light and some exercise... so thats what he was fed (despite the fact his past owners had him on light food for the past 2 years anyway). It wasn't working - he was scared of my three bullies so wouldn't come out and play for exercise and wasn't losing any real weight.

I had begun bringing one of my cats to a different vet as I disagreed with my vet over his diet (he has a sensitive tummy and the vet recommended Hills which made him even more sick but the vet insisted I keep feeding it regardless because thats whats its made for!). So when i had Bumps in to her for a check up I asked about Scully.

She said NEVER feed a light food to a cat that overweight. So we started feeding Performatrin Ultra (Lamb & Brown Rice) for both of them, which was reasonably priced and seemingly good for vomiting and weight loss.

They all did well on it despite it not being a diet food... she recommended cutting the amount of food they got rather than using fillers and not giving in to their whining (which was really hard). Then use high quality treats (or some kibble as treats) to reward them as they play. Now they all sit in a line and have to sit up like squirrels and stretch to take the treat so they are toning their stomachs in order for a treat etc.

After a while that vet left and the new one pointed me in the direction of getting more water into their diet as they hold calories more readily if they can't pee them out - he recommended premium wet food - which was great except turns out my two little overweight sensitive tummies are extra sensitive to wet and after a few weeks of cleaning up puke I gave up on it and the other two occasionally get a treat of a can between them with the other two getting some 'bad' treats to make up for it.

So back to another chat with the vet and now I feed mine Innova EVO which is basically a wet formula in a dry format - my cats adore it and have been losing weight despite it having fewer fillers and higher cals. The key is to work out how many calories your cat needs and feed the proportionate amount of food rather than using the guidelines on the food which are usually way higher than they need.

We bought them a water fountain to help entice them to water and now Boomer needs drip drips from the tub all day - but at least he is getting water - and they get 1/2 cup each of Evo each day and are quite content with it. Well better than content - when I started mixing it for the switch over they ate the evo and left the other stuff

Scully is now 19lbs and the others have lost 3-4lbs each and all look alot healthier generally. So the key to my kitties success turned out to be

less carbs (fillers) and the fillers that are used should be high quality
less cals - feeding what they actually need and not what the bag says
exercise made fun
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, the playing is going well, he loves to play, but I am careful not to make him play too much in one go. he also loves to go out, so hopefully that will help the exercise. He had to have tests for cystitis last week though, and his wee was very concentrated with a lot of protein, so it may be coming from his kidneys rather than his bladder. As a result, he isn't allowed dry food, so I have to tell the rescue tomorrow that he is only allowed senior wet food, partly for the calorie reduction, and partly in case it is his kidneys, at least it will help them a bit.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
He has been back to the vets and is down to 8.6kg, although they had to use different scales, so she did warn me that it might not be as accurate, and if he either hasn't lost any or has gone up slightly next month, not to worry. The shelter are dubious about putting him on senior wet food, presumably due to the cost, but were going to see about wet food formulated for cystitis as with his weight it might just keep on occuring.
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