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Feeding - always have food available?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've always left food out for my cat and she's never had problems with overeating. I had to leave her in the care of my roommate for a month and told him just to keep food out and change the bowls the same way I do.

Perhaps it was because I was away so long, but it seemed like she put on some weight. Not obese, but possibly pushing overweight. So I started measuring out her food in portions to try and slim her down a little.

The problem is she's now eating more than she did in the past and every time I feed her she gorges as if I was starving her and this is her last meal. I'm not sure how to approach this. I tried breaking it up into two different feeding times but that doesn't seem to help. She's not getting any slimmer either.

I don't want to make it sound like she's fat, I just wanted to slim her down a little. How does one put a cat on a diet anyway?
post #2 of 3
Like a human - first you get a check up, exact weight measured and blood and urine tests run. Once your baby has a clean bill of health check with your Vet on what he suggests. Generally you need to feed a diet with high percentages of protein and fat and low percentages of carbohydrate (grains). Protein is THE key.

Then there is increasing the amount of exercise your cat gets. You can add some interactive play toys, etc. or possible a kitty friend .

And please make sure that the weight loss occurs gradually - no crash dieting!!! Have her checked once a month or as per your Vets suggestion. Once you have reached a good weight with the help of your Vet find a good balnance of food and exercise to maintain the weight.
post #3 of 3
Very carefully, your cat must not lose weight too fast, dramatic weight loss or going more than a day without eating, can result in fatty liver disease.

But you are correct in trying to control her weight. Over eating very well could have been caused by stress or boredom because she missed you, but you should take her to vet for a check up just to make sure there's no medical reason for her weight gain. And while you're there, the Vet can tell you what her ideal weight is and give you some instructions.

Generally free feeding dry food results in over eating, though the cat may carry the weight gracefully for a while. Meals with controlled portions are definitely a good way to go.

I found that my cats naturally slimmed down when I took them off of kibble and put them on a wet food diet, thanks to more protein and fat and fewer carbs and sugars. They get generous portions and treats, but their waistlines have gradually become visible again they are more muscle, less fat and have higher energy levels.

Play time with your cat every day is also important, not only for her physical well being, but mental too. She needs stimulation and time with her people.
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