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Weight problem

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, so my 5 year old male cat, Dusty, used to weigh 22 lbs. His sister was taken in by a friend of mine, and she weighs about 14 lbs. The vet says Dusty should weigh about 14-16 lbs. Right now, he's down to about 20 lbs. I've tried putting him on all kinds of diet foods, and the most recent was the vet recommending Science Diet m/d. He gets about 1/4 of a cup twice a day (this is what the bag recommends), and I feed him in a different room from my other three cats. I always take up their food first, so he can't sneak any of it while I'm not looking. He doesn't always eat all of his food, but he's not losing any weight. I'm worried about him because he doesn't jump up on things like he used to, and when he jumps down from high places, you can tell that it hurts his poor arms. I guess this diet was helping for a while, but he's not losing any more weight. The vet said to just wait it out and see if he loses any more weight, but the food is 'spensive... I can't really afford it on a college student's income He doesn't get a whole lot of exercise, since I live in a pretty small apartment, and he's not allowed outside except when I can watch him, which isn't very often. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!!! I'm just worried that he's going to end up arthritic!
post #2 of 11
You might try to increase his activity level a bit by getting one of those fishing pole type toys to play with - spend about 15 to 20 minutes twice a day playing with him with this toy, make him chase it, jump for it, etc.

So long as he has no other health issues and your vet says it is OK, I would put him on an all wet-food diet for a while to help him lose the excess weight.
post #3 of 11
talk with your vet about the wet food .. i would recommend all grain free wet s
post #4 of 11
I have to agree with increasing his activity level. Find a toy he can't resist like Da Bird and use it to increase his play time. Even my oldest girls can't resist playing with a feather toy that looks like its alive. Try to emulate the movements of a bird or small animal.
post #5 of 11
Originally Posted by Black&Tan
I have to agree with increasing his activity level. Find a toy he can't resist like Da Bird and use it to increase his play time. Even my oldest girls can't resist playing with a feather toy that looks like its alive. Try to emulate the movements of a bird or small animal.
The best toy I've found, even better than Da Bird is the Cat Dancer.
It's several twists of straw/cork at one end of spring wire, and one
twist at the other end for a holder. The spring wire makes the
decorated end truly move like a moth or butterfly, and the cats
go wild. They HAVE to jump and move quickly to keep up with it.

When we're not playing with it, I wind it up and hang it in a closet,
so it's always new. My cats actually start to whine and dance
when I bring it out -- they can't wait for me to unwind it and
start playing.

They get quite an aerobic workout -- you can see them panting
at the end of the session!

post #6 of 11
I totally feel your pain. My monkey was almost 30 lbs before we realized that he needed to go on a diet. (I had never had cats before, i didn't know that some couldn't free feed) My suggestion is to go on an all wet diet. From what I understand, cats aren't really meant to have carbs, and dry foods are loaded with them. He's doing MUCH better now, and is at his goal weight.

Another suggestion is that you get a laser pointer. My cats LOVE it. They will run around and chase that thing all day long. I had monkey run up and down the stairs for like 20 minutes at a time, which really helped.

Good luck! Just remember to be patient, as it's not going to happen over night.

post #7 of 11
I'm gone a whole lot during the day, so I bought a toy for Sam that he can play with when I'm not there. I can't remember what its called, but I'm sure there are a whole lot of similar things out there. It is a rabbit fur creature that you can hang from any doorframe, and its on an elastic string. He will play with this thing for HOURS, and I know it keeps him out of trouble when I'm not at home.

Even though your kitty is a big guy, the best part about this toy is that he can play with it at the level he can handle, and gradually increase as he loses weight and gets in shape...and you don't have to do any of the work.

Another thing we use at school for the obese kitties is to make them work for their food. We take regular plastic water bottles, and poke holes in them large enough for their kibble to fall out. They have to wrestle with the bottle to get the food out. So.. while they're still eating and enjoying it, they are getting exercise. It also makes the food last longer so they won't bug you for more as soon as the dish is empty, if that makes sense. I'm sure there are products on the market that are a little more aesthetically pleasing that do the same thing .

wow, sorry for the novel!
post #8 of 11
I totally agree with the wet food only diet - it has worked wonders for my overweight foster - he has lost a kilo in 2 months on it (he is monitored monthly at the vets to make sure he isn't losing too much) - it doesn't work for my other male cat, but he does sneak food elsewhere and isn't as active (he is 2 years older though). And increasing the exercise will help.
I have seen these toys that hang on doorframes, but I am really worried that it might get caught either round their paw or round their neck, so I wont' buy one.
post #9 of 11
the one I have has a sort of emergency release function, so that if he were to get tangled and fight against it it would come apart. I guess it wouldn't help him get disentagled though.

never thought about it that way.
post #10 of 11
Didn't mean to alarm you, and I did want one, as I thought it would be ideal for when I am working, but I sort of remember reading not to leave toys on string out for cats (although i am guilty of doing that, mine don't play with them when I am trying to get them to play though, so I doubt they play when they are on their own) in case they get tangled. I could have it wrong though.
post #11 of 11
My vet told me that my cats were just BIG cats. They each weigh 13.5 pounds. It is hard.
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