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Walking my fat cat

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I know it sounds mean, but he's fat and I have toyed with the idea of walking him. My question is this. How many of your strap on a harness and walk your cat outside? Could he pick up some fleas on the way? How easy is it for the cat to slip out of the harness? I just need to get him some consistant excersise. This is the only way I know how.

Thanks a ton
Susanna In Arkansas
post #2 of 20
My older one used to walk a few houses regularly... My younger one is learning a harness is a good thing... HOw old is your kitty>??
post #3 of 20
It isn't that easy to just strap a harness on a cat and expect him to go for a walk. You have to get them used to seeing the harness and lead first, lay it around the house, near their food bowl etc for a few days. Let them sniff it, play with it, etc.. The put it on but don't fasten it, let them get used to it that way, then put it on and fasten it, add the lead and let them just be in the house with it on while being closely watched.

If your cat is fat then talk to the vet about cutting back the feed to a reasonable amount and increase the time you play with the cat every day. Do you have cat posts and cat condos in the house? Remember cats are supposed to be slim and athletic, they climb trees and scamper up posts outside. Recreate that type of living environment inside for you cat and encourage him to partake in it.
post #4 of 20
post #5 of 20
I agree with M.A.. I walk my cat, and have done so for six years. Much of the "walk" consists of him hunkering down behind a bush in the hopes of catching a bird, so I don't think he gets all that much exercise. Playing with interactive toys like "mice on fishing poles" or small balls would probably burn more calories than a walk would.
post #6 of 20
I would ask my vet for some special food for the cat. My Speedboat needed to lose weight and the vet put him on special food I had to buy at his office. But it worked.
Speedboat is down to eleven and a half pounds from 16. He had urinary problems and the dr. said it would help him to slim down some. And, it has.

Good luck with your "fat cat".
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all your comments. I'm going to put him on the weight mgmt formula from Purina One. I've heard that that food is succsesfull in losing weight. He's not to terribly overweight. He weighs in at 17.5. But he has a big boned body (the vet told me that) and he can carry it better. His sister is not fat though. She picks at her food. A little here and there. He will have a meal every hour or so.

Susanna in Arkansas
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
2 years old
post #9 of 20
Yes, your cat can get fleas from walking outside. And yes, it's easy to slip out of a harness if it's not sized and adjusted properly. And ditto the other comments about walkling a cat on a leash. And no, it's not mean.

I occasionally take Tommy and Rocket out on a leash, but it's not much excercise. They spend most of the time munching grass or looking at ants.
post #10 of 20
About the harness - if your cat is that big, you might want to try a small dog harness, which, in my experience, is more difficult for them to slip out of (which they somehow always manage to do). A retractable leash is a big help, too. One more tip - take along some reading material, because walking a cat isn't like walking a dog!
This is the dog harness I use for Jamie (6 kg. = 13.25 lbs.)
post #11 of 20
Are you not afraid that walking him (or her) outside...that he might not catch something worse than fleas? (If some sickly cat had been where you walk?) Or am I just paranoid?
post #12 of 20
I know from experience that if they are not trained to walk on one when they are really young it will be hard to get them used to it.
I've tried taking mine outside for a walk using a harness but they just squat down and will not budge. The last time I tried was a few months back and I had a really bad experience. Bud did the squat down thing then suddenly went balistic and tried to get away. I should have let go but held on and he ended up breaking a claw that I did not realize at the time. A few days later he was limping and ended up at the vet to have his entire claw extracted. He wasn't a happy camper let me tell you. There will be no more outdoor excursions.
I hope you have luck with the harness and if not, I can only recommend putting him on a diet with weight control food.
post #13 of 20
As you can tell from my user name, I'd had a little experience with overweight cats. I know that some people have good experiences with the weight management formulas. I didn't. The cats just ate more. Then we reached the conclusion that Red Cat might be allergic to the food, so needed to change anyway.

The real problem was free feeding. About a year and a half ago I switched to more of a "scheduled" feeding. I measured the amount of food the two cats combined should have in a day, then put out a little at a time throughout the day. I am retired and am home most of the time, so I could do that. A working person would have to make it two feedings per day.

That plan worked for Purdy. He lost about 2.5 pounds over the course of a year or so. It didn't work for Red Cat because (1) when he finished what I put in his dish, he'd eat whatever Purdy hadn't eaten that feeding if I wasn't closely watching and was able to put the dish first. (2) Red Cat is an indoor-outdoor cat and he'd just go catch another rat. So Red Cat has actually gained another half pound in the past year and a half.

If you only have one cat and he is indoor only, the scheduled feedings should work out fine if the weight control formula doesn't work for you.
post #14 of 20
Please before you put your arbitrarily put your cat on a diet, consult a vet. Dropping sudden weight on a cat is dangerous to their health. Unlike people, they should never go on crash diets. It is sad that we allow our cats to get fat in the first place, but make sure the weight comes off slow and gradual, or you and your pocketbook are likely to be very sorry.
post #15 of 20
Oh yes, Hissy, I should have mentioned that! It is important for the cat to lose weight very slowly. And I'm sure when you consult your vet, he will prefer to have you use the weight management formula, just like my vet did. But if that doesn't work or if you aren't able to use that food, cutting down the quantity just a little really can work.

What I did was this. I measured an amount of food which was MORE than I believed they were eating in a day. I gave that amount to them "free feeding syle" for a couple of days. And I measured how much was left at the end of the day. So I knew how much they were actually eating free feeding style of that particular food in an average day. Then I cut that amount down by one-fourth cup per day for two cats or by just two tablespoons per cat per day of their usual food. That amount turned out to be a 14% cut in quantity. You can check with your vet, but I doubt many would say that a 14% decrease would create too quick a weight loss.
post #16 of 20
Hey everyone! My question can kinda fit with this topic, hope you dont mind me cutting in! Is there a certain age or size a kitten needs to be before wearing a collar? My kitten is between 10-12 weeks ( I got Marlee at a shelter, don't know her exact age) and the vet hasnt weighed her so i'm not sure of that. But she is pretty small, I'm actually having some feeding problems addressed in another post. Back to the subject. She is definately going to be an inside kitty, but I want her to have a collar with a tag in case she ever slips out. I would also like to be able to take her out on a leash once her health is better. But I haven't been able to find a collar small enough to fit her. I bought the smallest I could find (adjustable 8-14" or around there) and its still way too big, it will slip over her head no problem when at its smallest. There is only one pet store here in my town (i'm in a small town going to college) and I've checked both there and walmart. Is this a sign that she is too young to be wearing a collar, since I can't find one to fit her?
post #17 of 20
I've heard of some people using ferret collars and harness for very small cats. That doesn't answer your question about "what's the right age", but I don't know if there is a clear-cut answer to that.
post #18 of 20
Oh yeah, I should have mentionned that too. Diet food should be introduced gradually along with their regular food to prevent rapid weight loss. Here's a site I found to be interesting on the subject
A couple of my kitties are also headed in the overweight direction and I will have to start surveying their food intake.
post #19 of 20
One of the items mentioned in the link Catgal provided reminded me of something I did which proved helpful when I put my boys on a diet. I bought a baby scale so I could weigh them regularly and see what progress we were making. To me having my own scale seemed a lot less hassle than trying to take them to the vet's office regularly to be weighed. (The do NOT like a trip to the vet!) And one can see whether or not the cat is losing weight at a proper gradual level. If you don't have a baby scale, you might see if you could find one used.
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by Bugaboo1
I would ask my vet for some special food for the cat. My Speedboat needed to lose weight and the vet put him on special food I had to buy at his office. But it worked.
Speedboat is down to eleven and a half pounds from 16. He had urinary problems and the dr. said it would help him to slim down some. And, it has.

Good luck with your "fat cat".
What was the brand name of the food your vet sold you?
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