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Am I under-feeding?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a 7 lb. cat that will be 4 years old in May. When she first came to live with me (she was a stray), she was very thin, obviously malnourished. I free fed her for the first few months. Gave her about a cup of food a day, and refilled when it became low (maybe once a day). She gained weight very fast, and the vet said that at 10 lbs., she was now overweight. I began feeding her 3/4 cup of food daily, as the food package recommended. She has lost weight - is at 7 lb. Everyone says she's looking thin, but she looks healthy to me. The problem is, she acts like she's starving! Around 2:00 (her feeding time), she is meowing, batting me with her paws. Even after eating, around MY dinnertime, she is constantly in my face begging for some of my food. I guess I spoiled her by occasionally giving her a sample of my food. She acts like she's ravenous, though - it bothers me because she does eat. Right now, she's trying to climb on my lap to get at my Hot Pocket. She never acted like this when I was free feeding her. She's being a pest, but I'm wondering if this means she's just really hungry. I've given her several mons. to get used to this diet. What do you think? Should I go back to free feeding and risk her becoming overweight again? To me, 10 lbs. is not a fat cat. Sometimes, I think at her annual appt., the vet just wants to "find something wrong," so I won't feel like I'm out money. Should I wait until her appt. in May, ask them what to do?

ETA: Here are some pics of Maisey at 10 lbs. I think she looks a wee bit fat, but not terribly overweight.

http://img464.imageshack.us/img464/5568/mlb0021pt.jpg

http://img464.imageshack.us/img464/7849/mlb0016fv.jpg
post #2 of 14
Please have blood work done.... I know $$ it is alot but well worth it if you catch a yukky thing early... what food is she eating??
post #3 of 14
I wouldn't go back to free feeding her but I would increase her food abit. sounds like she is hungry.
post #4 of 14
I would suggest increasing her food a but too. OR maybe first try feeding 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/4 cup in the evening, or maybe another 1/2 cup in the evening. Is she really active? Or is she lazy and sleeping all day long? Another thing to consider when adjusting amounts of food for her. Can you do anything to keep her active? Does she have another cat buddy to play with? The type of food is very important too, low quality foods are not only full of bad ingredients but also don't keep them feeling full for very long. Try a brand like Nutro or something from a pet store.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
I would suggest increasing her food a but too. OR maybe first try feeding 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/4 cup in the evening, or maybe another 1/2 cup in the evening. Is she really active? Or is she lazy and sleeping all day long? Another thing to consider when adjusting amounts of food for her. Can you do anything to keep her active? Does she have another cat buddy to play with?
It's hard for me to get her on a feeding schedule - I am gone all day on two weekdays (classes and internship), and usually home most of the day on the other days. I usually feed her at 2:00, but on school days, she eats at 7:00 am. I try to avoid feeding her in the mornings, because she has kind of a sensitive tummy, and throws up if she eats early in the day. I swear this is the reason she got sick, because I switched to later in the day, and she had no problems. Usually, she's ok on the school days, tho has on occasion, barfed. I think hairballs was also part of the barfing problem because once I started her on cat lax (now substituted w/ a little butter to save money), she improved.

She eats Purina Cat Chow. She was on Science Diet, but it was too rich for her tummy, I think. The Purina is very plain and doesn't have much odor. Sometimes, I get Iams, if it's on sale. I'm a student with a non-paying internship, so it will be tight for awhile. Can't be helped. I don't eat much better than she does. She is in b/w being an active and a lazy cat. She has lots of toys that she does play with pretty frequently. I want to find her some more "interesting" toys - she had a catnip mouse that made noise that she loved. I think she was trying to get to the beads or whatever was making the noise because she tore it apart (posted about this a few days ago)! Luckily, she discarded the plastic part, but the fur is still yet to be found. I paniced, thinking she ate it, but she is fine. So, no more noisy toys, though she does have some plastic balls with beads inside. Very durable - were from a vet. She doesn't like those, though. She's an apartment cat, so it's close quarters, but she seems to get exercise. I wish I could get another cat for her to play with, but it's not feasible now.
post #6 of 14
Are you only feeding her once a day?
post #7 of 14
Maybe free feed her again but don't put all the food out at once. Put maybe double what you currently feed her out for the day, then every couple days take away a little bit. Or like I suggested before, feed a little less in teh morning, like at 7am, feed ehr just a bit, maybe she wont puke that way, and then when you get home at night, feed her a little more, to equal the total amount you want to give her for the day. Start out bigger portions and work back maybe,
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger
Are you only feeding her once a day?
Yeap, I feed her once a day.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
Maybe free feed her again but don't put all the food out at once. Put maybe double what you currently feed her out for the day, then every couple days take away a little bit. Or like I suggested before, feed a little less in teh morning, like at 7am, feed ehr just a bit, maybe she wont puke that way, and then when you get home at night, feed her a little more, to equal the total amount you want to give her for the day. Start out bigger portions and work back maybe,
OK, I may try one or both of those things. Thanks. I am afraid, though, if I just feed her half or less of her regular portion in the morning, she may get worried. I know she's not used to me being gone all day on those days. With school, my schedule is a little different each quarter. I think she equates food with love and stability, as she probably didn't have any of those things before she came to me. I might try feeding her a 1/2 cup in the morning, and a 1/4 cup when I get home at night. I know if I did that on the days I'm here, though, she would bug me to death wanting food. So, I may just have to go back to free-feeding on those days. I gave her a little more food than usual today, so we'll see how she acts come 5:30.
post #10 of 14
What about canned wet food? have you ever tried her on that? Give it a try its better for her. Try canned in the morning then dry at night. If she only gets food once per day then she needs to fed two times per day.
post #11 of 14
Cats need to be fed more than once a day, so I would try splitting what you feed her into more than one serving, and you might find that you don't need to increase the amount at all - can you imagine only being given one meal a day??
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger
Cats need to be fed more than once a day, so I would try splitting what you feed her into more than one serving, and you might find that you don't need to increase the amount at all - can you imagine only being given one meal a day??
To be fair, I give her milk and treats throughout the day when I can. She also makes the choice to gobble down all her food in one sitting. Sometimes, it's just unavoidable because I have a life... Though, I may try feeding her in two sittings on the days I'm gone - has to be early morning and late night. Actually, I think I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, but give her a bit more food than normal. If she's smart she will not eat it all at once!
post #13 of 14
My cats weigh almost 14 pounds, and they are not really fat. They are just BIG cats. It worries me, though. They are indoor cats and do not get a lot of exercise. I feed them 2 times a day on weekdays and 3 times on weekends, but I doubt they get even a cup of dry food (Humble) or 5 ounces of wet (Shenandoah).

Does that sound ok to y'all?
post #14 of 14
She eats Purina Cat Chow. She was on Science Diet, but it was too rich for her tummy, I think. The Purina is very plain and doesn't have much odor. Sometimes, I get Iams, if it's on sale. I'm a student with a non-paying internship, so it will be tight for awhile. Can't be helped.


has she asked for more since the switch?>? if so it is because the SD was more filling and she may need more ( i measure and then free feed)... My Zoey is very active and eats 1 1/2 to 2 times the recommendation for her wt ... Kandie on the other hand ate the low end for her wt, she was 14lbs ate 1/2 cup dry and 6 ounces wet
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