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Grossly overweight cat

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was at my sister-in-laws the other day and one of her cats (a female) walked in and my jaw fell. She was the fattest cat I have ever seen. Just a little head and a great big belly. They were laughing about how, when she lies on her stomach, four little pegs (her legs) stick up. Anyhow, the hair on her back is full of mats (I imagine she can't reach her back to groom). I thought it was pretty gross.

They have another cat that is overweight, but not as bad as this one. These cats eat only grocery store quality dry food. Their dog is fat as can be too but she blames that on the dog eating that cat food (trust me, the cats are getting plenty too!).

Another thing I noticed was when my daughter petted this cat and globs of hair were left on the floor (excessive shedding).

So, I told her I doubt that cat will live another 5 years and she said "good!" She recently got scared of the vacuum and bit my sister-law several times in the back of the leg (really nasty). She said you never know when you pet this cat when she will turn on you.

Anyhow, couldn't a thyroid disorder cause this?
post #2 of 11
One question... how old is this cat?

I would suggest that a thyroid isssue is not the cause of this mess but (no offence) by your description, your sister-in-law +family's fault. I would say the cat is in distress-stressed out, and between that and her weight doesnt have a chance to be able to groom herself. I would assume no one is brushing her either or seeing to that shes got all the vitamins and minerals needed to keep her hair and skin healthy.

It doesnt sound like your sister-in-law cares either... anychance someone else can give this poor girl a home and a life?

Tip'n Proffy's mum
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
The cat is only about 3 years old. Is that too young for a thyroid problem? I think a lot of the resentment about the cat is the fact that it really did attack her leg badly (I was shocked at the marks and she was even wearing jeans at the time). Since it was unprovoked, it really scared her. The cat is just not a very nice cat. Even taking it to the vet would be tough because she said you CANNOT pick that cat up. Trying shove it in a box or carrier would be taking your life in your hands. Anyhow, I think a quality diet with some canned food with really help if it is not too late.
post #4 of 11
These cats are being negelected, and should be removed from the home if that's her attitude to their wellbeing.

When's the last time these cats have seen a vet?
post #5 of 11
I agree, this is neglect and I personally consider it animal cruelty. This cat (actually both cats and the dog) needs to be with a family who cares enough about them to help them lose weight and groom them until they are able to reach the areas themselves at least.

If it were me, I would be calling the SPCA.
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I agree, this is neglect and I personally consider it animal cruelty. This cat (actually both cats and the dog) needs to be with a family who cares enough about them to help them lose weight and groom them until they are able to reach the areas themselves at least.

If it were me, I would be calling the SPCA.

It could be thyroid but I doubt it since low thyroid in cats is very very rare...
Would your SIL use cat food that you took her??? Can you get this cat to a vet??
post #7 of 11
Oh that poor poor cat. The biting wasn't unprovoked. She was vaccuuming, which is about the best way to freak out a cat I can think of. I just read a really interesting article about cats/dogs and abuse or loyalty. Cats loyalty you have to earn, and if you don't then the cat isn't likely to put up with you. Dogs will remain loyal to even the most abusive owner because of their pack mentality--they just learn that they're the lowest in the pack and take the beatings and neglect. http://messybeast.com/cat-dog.htm Basically, if your cat loves you, you've earned it-- and your sister-in-law hasn't earned it.

Laughing at a cat with severe medical problems and allowing her to have painful mats and then saying that she's glad her neglect will cause her cat to have a very short life... yes, I agree. That's abusive. Honestly, it sounds like you SIL is just waiting for something to happen so she doesn't have her pets anymore (or at least the cats) and if you call the spca, maybe she will just voluntarily hand them over. I doubt they can take them, as unfortunately in most states what is going on isn't legally cruelty.

Poor poor cat.
post #8 of 11
Yes the attack was not unprovoked, you said yourself that it happened when she freaked out from the vacuum cleaner. I would consider this a neglect situation and ask her if you can have the cat. Then try to rehome her. Sounds like they don't care about or pay any attention to her anyways. What jerks, to laugh at a cat with health problems.
post #9 of 11
Aww, teh poor cat. It is cruelty in my opinion too. Overweight cats can be bad tempered, but I doubt a thyroid prob is the reason - cats are very rarely hypo thyroid, and hyper thyroid makes them lose weight despite eating loads. IS there anything you can do to step in?
post #10 of 11
I agree that it's abuse. Why bother if you're that uninterested. I hope you can talk some sense into her. Good luck with that!

I'm a real estate agent and once I was showing a house and I ran into the same thing, a terribly overweight cat, with mats. I swear I thought about taking it. It's mats were so bad, clear down to the skin and as big as my palm. The house was so nice, but the cat was in bad shape.
post #11 of 11
I have a cat that is overweight (not obese), and I asked the vet about thyroid trouble. She said it isn't that common in younger cats, but there could be another underlying metabolic disorder. I agree that you SILs cat is overeating due to stress - some cats are emotional eaters, just like some humans. She can't reach back to groom herself, so they need to groom her by combing her hair and wiping her down. The aggression is also due to stress and mistreatment. I bet if the cat went into a loving environment, the new family wouldn't have a single problem with her once she adjusted. Our overweight cat sees the vet every 6 months, including regular bloodwork. He's pudgy but healthy - and even though he's healthy, we watch his eating closely and feed him a good quality food with flax oil, which really helps cut down on the mats and dry skin. They need to understand that this furry family member isn't a novelty - it's a life. I'm sure you'll do all you can to get through to them. Good luck!
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