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Our cat is getting rather large...

(22 Posts)
GinAndOnIt Tue 17-Jan-17 09:37:51

Well, I say 'getting', I'm not sure he's ever been a small cat.

What can I do to help him?

He's about 11 years old, and we rescued him just under a year ago. I have details of his weight from when he was in the rescue centre, and have attached a pic. But I have no means of weighing him now so I've no idea if he's still the same sort of weight. He's quite... round but I'm pretty sure he was when we got him.

We are still following the feeding requirements from the rescue centre (which is one pouch of senior wet food plus 30g of senior dry per day) but I don't know how much food he 'catches' a day. When the weather was warmer and all the doors used to be open/I was in the garden, I'd either see him eating mice or I'd find little mice stomachs lying around as evidence. He does still bring the odd one in through the cat flap now it's cold, but I haven't seen him eat one for a while. He must still be feasting on them though.

Am I feeding him too much now do you think? The rescue guidelines were obviously suitable for when he was inside all the time and not hunting, so should I really be feeding him less? But what if he doesn't catch anything that day, won't he be hungry?

I really don't want to stop his free access outside - in his previous home he lived with 9 other cats and was frequently fighting (he was unneutered) and so he used to get locked into a room in the house without a litter tray for long periods of time. He gets quite stressed and rips up carpet if you try to keep him in one room (even if he has everything he needs in that room). We have a dog as well, and I think he needs to know there's an escape route to stop him being aggressive to the dog.

What do you all do with cats that hunt a lot - do you adjust their food to match? Should we be feeding him less? Or is his size just part and parcel of an old cat who spends most of his time on a bench next to the radiator?! Could it also be down to the neutering happening quite late in life?

frostyfingers Tue 17-Jan-17 11:03:45

I never feed any of my animals the "prescribed" amount, I do it by eye and feel. (Perhaps ask your vet how to assess him that way rather than just by weight. If you have scales to weigh yourself then it's easy enough to weigh him - weigh yourself first & make a note, pick up cat and weigh again and then work out the difference. Assuming he's wormed regularly then it should be reasonably easy. Have a search on google for how to assess body condition/weight and you'll find a few helpful guides.

LTBforGin Tue 17-Jan-17 11:05:31

Could we have a picture of the beautiful beast please?

GinAndOnIt Tue 17-Jan-17 11:17:21

The only weighing scales I have are cooking ones, and I'm not sure he'd fit on the scale let alone stay still long enough to weigh!

Here he is LTB grin

LTBforGin Tue 17-Jan-17 11:34:38

Oh what a handsome boy he is. He looks purrfect for cuddling.

Me personally would give him small portions of high quality meat with a spoon of cod liver/olive oil to assist with joints.

I think biscuits can be quite hard on old teeth .

We have a boy who eats bunnies but we feed him as well. He's very, very active so not as cuddly as your boy. If I were you I'd cut out the biscuits for now and see how you get on.

roseteapot101 Tue 17-Jan-17 11:37:48

i weigh my mine with a hanging weighing scale ,i place them carefully in a pillow case and weigh

mine are indoors fine for weight they free eat dry and have wet for breakfast.What food are you feeding maybe you should be looking at the quality not the amount

look out for

added sugar
maize
wheat
animal derivatives
digest

these are the ingredients of a inferior quality food look for named ingredients such as chicken or beef .

That face love the moustache lol

cozietoesie Tue 17-Jan-17 12:04:13

He's just wonderful. smile

Do you have anybody nearby - or some 'bins' - who might be .......supplementing his diet at all, do you think?

LTBforGin Tue 17-Jan-17 12:13:41

He's active. He's in good health by all accounts. That's the main thing. If his weight was affecting him then I'd be really worried. If you feel you should, cut out the biscuits and see how he goes. He's bound to lose a little weight that way or catch more mice

cozietoesie Tue 17-Jan-17 12:22:44

Has he been vetted recently? (I'm thinking particularly about his teeth and his joints, given that he's an older cat.)

GinAndOnIt Tue 17-Jan-17 12:22:45

Lots to look into/try, thank you.

I might take out the biscuits. He has had to have a lot of teeth taken out, and he never seems excited by it like he does with wet food.

He's definitely not getting fed anywhere else. We only have the one neighbour and she says she hardly sees him. The other side of us is fields full of mice and rabbits! I can normally spot him out the window when he is out, so I don't think he goes very far from home.

I should also mention that his fur is very very thick..... ahem. wink

GinAndOnIt Tue 17-Jan-17 12:24:24

cozie he saw a vet about 6 months ago when he hurt his leg, but he hadn't been with us that long at that point. He is due to go back in March for vaccs.

PlumsGalore Tue 17-Jan-17 12:28:02

Are you up to date with his vaccinations? our vet weighs my kitties every time they come in and lets me know whether they are up or down and comments on their diets as required.

I also feed by eye. Three cats, one oldie that stays in, one hunter that lives off the land and one currently indoor adolescent kitten. I put wet food down morning and tea time and ensure they always have dried food and water.

Have followed that method for 30 years and never had a fat cat, although I notice the hunter gets a bit heavier in winter when she is less active but loses it in the summer.

cozietoesie Tue 17-Jan-17 12:28:35

You could always try putting his dry food in a treat toy for him to 'hunt'. (He might actually enjoy that if he's a hunter by inclination.) Otherwise, I think I'd just go on as you're doing - but with regular checkups etc. It's not a good idea, in any case, to try to reduce a cat's weight fast and without veterinary supervision - it can cause as many problems as it solves, sadly.

gotthearse Tue 17-Jan-17 23:52:40

I go by one of these for my boy. He hunts but does not eat. Once met a cat who eant fed 8-10 months per year as he scoffed enough kill to sustain him nicely. He ead a massive, handsome fellow.

gotthearse Tue 17-Jan-17 23:53:56

Should also say i cant leave leave dried down. He would be positively obese.

RamblinRosie Wed 18-Jan-17 00:06:27

From the photos, he looks a tad plump, but its winter and they do tend to put on a bit. He doesn't look obese, he's 11 and hunting, I wouldn't worry unless the vet has concerns in March.

RamblinRosie Wed 18-Jan-17 00:12:22

Oh, and he is a handsome boy, such a lovely face!

TeethDrama Wed 18-Jan-17 00:13:36

Meh, my cat weighs over 6kg but he's a big boy (very long and big, bigger than average) so although he has a bit of a pot belly he doesn't look too fat. But he's heavier than average. He eats two pouches plus biscuits per day. Vet would like him to be 5-5.25kg for his size.

I would just cut down a little on the biscuits. But not cut them out, as they are actually good for maintaining teeth health. Wet food also excellent for hydrating so I wouldn't want to switch to all-dry food as you might end up with dehydration, plus male cats are prone to getting bladder issues more so than females from dehydration. My cat can't be on just dry biscuits for that reason.

At the end of the day though, a little bit of extra weight isn't the end of the world. Your cat is not obese or hugely overweight. But he is absolutely gorgeous. What a lovely face!

squeak10 Sat 11-Feb-17 14:00:42

Eh, my big boy is 8.5k, other cats normal weight for their size. He eats the same as them very rarely goes out ( totally refuses if it's raining). Vet decided to enroll him in fat cat club (images of him on the treadmill smile) had to stop taking him for weekly weigh in as he started to pull his fur out as it stressed him out. Kept him on diet food. No change, he is just and always has been a big soppy boy.

Weedsnseeds1 Sat 11-Feb-17 15:23:45

He doesn't look too bad. Maybe swap biscuits for extra pouch of wet as it's lower calorie? Mine weighs a lot more than that!

RubbishMantra Sat 11-Feb-17 15:57:53

He looks like a reverse image of my black and white boy! Who is also prone to a bit of rotundliness at this time of year. He slimmed down naturally after that photograph. He's fed on a completely grain free diet - dry he has Applaws or Orijen, and a pouch of Gourmet Perle in the evening. Cats don't need carbs, so eat a lot yet don't feel full.

It may well be to do with the fact your boy was locked up with lots of other cats before and had to fight to eat, and is now luxuriating in free access to food.

Does he like playing? Getting him moving about with a fishing rod or laser pointer could be good.

abbsisspartacus Sat 11-Feb-17 18:01:14

My neighbours cat came to live with me she had regular food and indoor access for the first time the first year she looked like she had swallowed a football after that she learned to actually leave food if she wasn't hungry and that she could ask for food when she was (unless I was asleep) perhaps your cat just needs to find his equalibriam?

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