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eating disorder, obesity, food choices,AHHG

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
fANG IS A RESCUED cat, spent his early months living outdoors in the winter, fending for himself, was rescued by a no kill shelter, fed dry food exclusively. When I adopted him his coat was dry and brittle and now it is soft and shiny from improved nutrition. Problem, he is obese! He looks like he swallowed a bowling ball. He loves his dry food and has been starved, so I thought eventually he would realize he has enough food and cut back. No way, he must have an eating disorder. My other cats eat all they want and they have purrfect bodies. So now I am trying to limit his food, which means everyone else changes too. I read all about the perils of dry food, and I gave it as supplement to the wet, but fang would empty all the bowls pronto.
I am just confused now, don't know what to do. I am trying two feedings of wet and just put a little dry out, but I don't think I can afford high quality wet for 4 cats. Even if it were only $3 a day, which is conservative for good food, that is $90 a month, or $1,190 a year. Thats a lot for food, we still have to go to the vet and have litter, and I am thinking of the automatic litter pan and now I read I should have mutiple litter pans, which I do, but three of them share the same pan. I'm going crazy with all this info. Maybe ignorance is bliss.
post #2 of 5
I know we have a few nutrition experts here, but I would like to jump in and just say that in my own experience, cats like more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day. Maybe you could split a can between the four cats three times or four times per day. I know that I can get a higher-quality canned cat food at my local Petsmart for about .30 a can if I buy a case of 24 cans. If you purchased the case and feed 4 times per day, you would have enough for 6 days worth of meals. At $8 per case, you would need 4 to 5, so about $32 to $40 per month for canned food.

Also, can you separate the cats at feeding times so that Fang has his own bowl and portion?
post #3 of 5
I have an obese cat too, with the exact same circumstances. He was a feral that was taken in and just cant stop eating. I feed mine twice a day, 1/4 cup a feeding. I lock the one with the problem into the bathroom for about 30 minutes, each feeding to make sure the other two got what they wanted, and lock all the food back up, and then let him out. He gets wet food while he's in there, and the other two get dry food. Hope that helps
post #4 of 5
I also had that problem with my second cat, a rescued stray. She would eat until the bowl was empty, then beg for more. The vet recommended that I stop free feeding, put out a specific amount for the day, and stick to it. My "resident" cat was also putting on weight, because he saw what was happening, and would eat as much as he could, just to make sure he got his share.

I did find that her behaviour, eating everything in sight, did modify after a while. She still loves her food, but she learned that she could walk away from a dish that still had food in it.

I put them on an all wet food diet for about 3 months. It was more expensive, but wet food was about half the calorie content of the dry, so we were able to at least stabilize their weights, if not drop a pound or two. My goal was really to just avoid having her continue to gain. I did put out a handful of kibble every day, but it was literally a small handful, not a serving.

Now, I am back to one wet food serving a day, with dry in the morning, wet in the evening. I think this works.

So, I guess my advice would be, if you can afford it, try putting them all on wet food for a time, but realize this isn't a permanent dent in your budget.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your responses. Gayef, what food do you get at petsmart that is hi quality for .30? I'm going up today, I will look for it.
We are doing just wet food, and have been for a few days. (except for the old girl, she gets anything she wants) Haven't noticed any weight loss, but there is a definite decrease of urination and defecation. A definite plus. Everyone seems to be getting their fill. There is always a few bites left after feeding, which they empty before the next meal. I put out a half a handful of dry after they are done. Primarily for Fang, but they all take a bite. I noticed that Fang isn't devouring it, so he must feel satisfied. Hopefully Fang will lose a few pounds and I will find a good wet food that we can afford daily. thanks again.
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