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Cat just keeps on gaining weight - any suggestions?

(12 Posts)
Thurlow Mon 26-Sep-16 13:38:59

We got our rescue girl 8 months ago and she was very underweight, barely 3kg as her previous owners were shits to her. She needed feeding up to be neutered so for a few months she ate loads, at least 2 sachets of Felix and maybe two bowls of dried food. 3 months ago she was up to 3.9kg and the vet said that she was starting to get a little "cuddly" so we should reduce what she was eating.

So for 3 months she's had half a sachet morning and night, and then maybe 2/3rds of a bowl of dried food to nibble on when she wants. This looks roughly what the packets suggest a cat her size should be eating. She doesn't snack at all really, maybe a few Dreamies once or twice a week, doesn't like to eat our meat or fish.

Of course, even on that she's gone up to nearly 4kg!

Or vet does have weight loss clinics but I don't think we can start going to them for a few months so I wanted ideas of what we might be able to do at home to help out?

I'm loathe to cut down the wet food anymore as I don't think she drinks much so I didn't want to do just dried food (this might be a completely wrong idea!) plus she does like it more than dried. I've cut the dried down to a handful twice a day, which she seems to gobble down. I am worried that she is asking for food and eating so quickly because she was so mistreated before she came to us.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

YesItsMeIDontCare Mon 26-Sep-16 13:42:17

Puzzle feeding toy thingy that will slow down biscuit consumption? Loads of different styles on Amazon, I'm thinking of getting one for LardArse Leroy.

thecatneuterer Mon 26-Sep-16 13:43:23

The easiest way to achieve weight loss seems to be to cut out dried food altogether. It encourages cats to nibble and overeat. Give it a go. My neighbour's cat has gone from being morbidly obese (I would guess) to being a normal weight just from feeding wet food only.

Miloarmadillo1 Mon 26-Sep-16 13:47:35

Weigh out the dry food, most people doing it by eye are far too generous. You can mark the level on a cup or similar so you don't weigh it every time. Remember to reduce the amount to take account of the wet pouch, e.g. If the requirement was 3 pouches a day and you actually give one, reduce dry food requirement by a third. Puzzle feeder to slow her down, time outside to exercise, or play games indoors.
If she continues to gain weight your vet can prescribe an obesity/satiety diet.

Thurlow Mon 26-Sep-16 13:51:23

Thanks! I'll get a puzzle feeder. She is quite an active cat so I was surprised, she's spent a lot of time outside the past few months and does like to have a crazy half an hour running around the house in the evening.

I'll start weighing the dried food properly and see if that makes a difference over the next month or so.

Jonsnowsghost Mon 26-Sep-16 14:24:51

Dry food can have up to 4 times the calories of wet food, for example something like Felix pouches are about 80 calories per 100g and something like Whiskas dry has about 330 calories per 100g. This is where a lot of people go wrong! You should be cutting the dry right down, using a treat ball or activity centre would be good and increasing the wet if needed. Also toys such as the flying frenzy would be good to get her moving.
Good luck!

Jonsnowsghost Mon 26-Sep-16 14:52:09

As an example, a 4kg cat needs about 253 calories per day so if you fed 2 pouches that would be 160 calories and you'd top up the rest with around 30g dry. Dreamies are also 2 calories each so you take away some dry if feeding them. As a starting guide reduce the dry by 10% or so. The aim is gradual weight loss as losing weight too quickly and cause liver problems.
I'm into animal nutrition!

Weedsnseeds1 Mon 26-Sep-16 17:03:34

Measure dry food carefully as the correct amount can look tiny and it's tempting to "top up" a bit. Mine gets 2 x 40g a day and it doesn't look enough to keep a mouse alive, but at 6Kg he's clearly not starving!

Thurlow Mon 26-Sep-16 17:54:38

Thanks loads everyone, I'll have a good look at her calorie needs and adjust accordingly. I didn't realise there was such a calorie difference between dried and set food! She'll be happy, she can have more wet food.

FuzzyWizard Mon 26-Sep-16 19:21:16

My cat has 2 pouches per day and then just 15g of dry food. If she has any treats that day we reduce that to 10g. apparently she's a good weight and the vet said to ignore her pestering for any more as she's getting the right amount. I was surprised by how little food she needs. She's 3.5 kilos. She's some sort of Maine Coon mix breed (her paperwork says Maine Coon but she's just too small to be a full Maine Coon we think), long and lean. I was surprised by how little she needs and was scared I was starving her.

Bonbonchance Tue 27-Sep-16 10:47:07

My cat got pretty chunky after I got her - vet advised me to cut the dry food right down - she's quite a big not very active cat & has equivalent to a pouch of food & a small amount of dried a day & has lost all the weight she needed to. She has a ball feeder you put the dry food in too.

moonbells Tue 27-Sep-16 15:16:21

Mooncat arrived scrawny from having been rescued with six kittens. We also have the smallest kitten. She turned into a rugby ball seemingly overnight (ok it took three months but felt like overnight) from eating kitten food and it has taken years to gradually get her back to 4.8kg (which isn't exactly small!) but then again she isn't a small cat. Moonkitten is now a hulking monster who, despite him looking thinner than her, actually weighs 5kg and terrorises the local wildlife. Both of them are on two sachets of wet a day and we feed them dry in a ball when they get particularly vocal, but not every day.

Mooncat was likely being fed by a local lady who I was told fed all the nearby cats. Made the whole process much harder as it didn't seem to matter how much we cut down, she was still huge from getting other food. In the end several others told the lady to stop feeding their cats and at last MC started to shrink. Be aware of this if you have an outdoor cat!

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