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Overweight older kitten

(25 Posts)
notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 13:04:42

Spotty kitten is a chubster, she's 10 months old, has free access to outdoors and free acess to food (good quality dry kitten biscuits). She's an oriental and neutered, her mother is also a chubster and both have got significantly fatter since being sterilized although her mother was 5 when sterilized and spotty kitten 6 months.

Old cat (10, also a neutered oriental) was very depressed after the death of her lifelong partner and got too thin. Spotty kitten has been her saviour and she's enjoying life now and is back up to a good weight. She's been on the kitten biscuits too but I gather she really shouldn't have them. She and old dead cat have always had free acess to biscuits and maintained 'perfect' weight that way. TBH I'm loath to go over to weighed, timed feeding if I can avoid it at all.

So, all things considered, would it be right to move over to adult biscuits this two months early? Spotty cat is, presumably, going to be getting out and about more as the weather improves but I worry that's not going to be enough to sort her weight out and I'd hate for her to drift into obesity. WWYD?

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 13:08:02

Spotty kitten's mother doesn't live with us BTW, we just have the two. I know about her weight problem from the breeder. Amazingly, her attitude is "she's made that way, let her be a bit fat". I find that odd enough for a retired queen and not an approach I'd prefer for a kitten.

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 18:14:55

Anyone?

Jonsnowsghost Sun 12-Mar-17 18:21:01

You can feed adult dry food now but that is probably what is making her overweight. Many people don't realise that dry food can be up to 400 calories per 100g whilst wet food is around 80 calories per 100g. I suggest you cut the amount of dry and start feeding some wet food too.
It's also better for them as they get more moisture from their food with wet, a solely dry diet can cause urinary problems as cats don't have a thirst drive so don't drink enough to compensate for the lack of moisture in the food.

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 19:38:02

Thanks JSG.

I'm used to my cats self regulating their food intake and consistently maintaining a healthy weight, so having a chubby one is totally new for me really a bit of a shock! I've been expecting her to have a huge growth spurt for a couple of months but it's not happened.

Is adult cat food truly equally as nutritious as kitten food? Just less calorie dense, I mean. I suppose I'm concerned that withdrawing the kitten food early could effect her growth hmm She's much same size as old cat now but I think she's a bit of growth in her yet. The fatness is recent and not at all extreme but it does need keeping on top of.

I'm aware that dry food is more calorie dense than wet food but a largely dry diet always suited my other Siamese/orientals just fine, they eat little and often by choice and drink plenty. The vet has always said they were an 'ideal weight' for their sizes and breed.

I always thought that cats on a largely wet diet have more problems with their teeth. Is that just a myth? I'll look into it and maybe give a wetter diet a try if a lower calorie dry diet, spring and time don't help. I've wondered about BARF too but, again, I do prefer them to be able to self regulate.

Jonsnowsghost Sun 12-Mar-17 19:48:58

Adult food isn't much different to kitten food really and it won't make any difference now between 10 months and 12.

Teeth problems can come from eating wet food if it's got sugar in it but isn't the main factor, it's mainly genetic. If you notice cats generally don't crunch dry food enough for it to have teeth cleaning abilities, a lot of people recommend raw chicken wings to help clean their teeth but my cat won't eat them! I think I've read that siamese cats particularly have teeth problems, one of my mum's siamese cats had to have all her teeth removed bar 2 at a young age and they were from different litters but had the same diet, shows that it can be down to the cat!

I don't know much about BARF diets (assuming raw?) But I personally wouldn't feed raw as i wouldn't trust myself with balancing for the correct nutrients. I know you can get supplements but how can you know that they are all in the correct balance and are absorbed correctly? Anyway...most pet food companies recommend a mixed diet of wet and dry but it's up to you smile

Have you tried a food ball or anything? That would get her moving a bit for her food.

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 19:51:40

Am I even right to be concerned?

Spotty kitten is 4kg on the nose, old cat is 3.6kg. They a very similar size although SK has larger paws which makes me think she'll probably grow a bit yet. Her tummy is a little round and there's fat in the skin pouch behind the tummy, between the back legs. So, at first glance she looks like an every day house cat of a healthy weight but being an oriental she should be a slimmer, more tubular shape. Maybe it's just a phaseconfused

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 19:52:25

Xpost. Will read now

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 20:06:43

Brilliant, thanks. I'll move them over to adult food then and look into adding more wet food. Old cat is at her ideal weight and needs to maintain that which makes it trickier than if they were both needing to lose some weight. SK is very active, but obviously not active enough. The weather was lovely here today and she has been out more than when it was colder, which is a good sign.

They seem crunch the dry food loads, maybe because their mouths are small? Mmmm.

Jonsnowsghost Sun 12-Mar-17 20:23:35

Possibly, I've got a ragdoll and he has a short jaw so crunches his dry food but most normal cats seem to just swallow them whole!

Have you looked at body condition scoring? That's the best way to judge if you think your cat is overweight. It's difficult on kittens admittedly as they grow so much but it can be helpful! Google royal canin body condition score chart and have a look smile

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 20:29:00

Thanks again! I've certainly seen cats guzzle biscuits with barely a crunch, absolutely. Mine even manage to crunch the kitten biscuits which are tiny compared to what I'm used to.

<- I think SK is probably undeniably chubby but I'll look up that chart

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 20:41:19

She should be halfway between 3 & 4 (because of the breed) 3 being just too thin but 4 slightly chunky. I'd say she's at a 6. Hmm.

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 20:44:30

Uurhgh I mean at what I'd consider a 6 for breed. So an actual 5.

Jonsnowsghost Sun 12-Mar-17 20:52:57

She does look a little rounded! I have the opposite problem, large breed cat but he eats hardly anything...it's very frustrating!

I reckon she might grow a bit more and fit into herself, but it'd be good to help her along the way too.

notMarlene Sun 12-Mar-17 21:08:24

That does sound frustrating. Because mine (well, old two) eat teeny meals even when heathy they've often struggled to eat properly after illness. They get underweight quite quickly and it's a worry. I've often mixed a little boiling water through pate type cat foods to encourage appetite and increase the stomach capacity. But maybe that's not much help if he's used to a high proportion of wet food.

Weedsnseeds1 Sun 12-Mar-17 21:55:30

She does look a little chubbysmile. If she will eat wet, try giving her a pouch for one meal and weight out the biscuits rather than leaving them down?

Jonsnowsghost Mon 13-Mar-17 07:34:26

Honestly I've tried everything, all styles with water, without water, heating in the microwave etc etc but he just doesn't seem to enjoy food! Except dreamies which he loves. Currently he eats some James Wellbeloved dry (still kitten as it's got higher calories than the adult - he's 2!) And sheba fresh choice pouches which he sometimes eats and sometimes doesn't then every other day he has a Sheba soup in the evening as he loves these but they're complementary so can't have them all the time confused
He's such a pain! Good job he's super handsome

notMarlene Mon 13-Mar-17 07:49:22

He's stunning!

Jonsnowsghost Mon 13-Mar-17 08:57:41

grin he's lovely and I feel so guilty going out to work and seeing his little face at the window! He sleeps a lot though so he must do that all day..

notMarlene Mon 13-Mar-17 10:36:31

Is he a single, indoor cat? I'm not very familiar with ragdolls but I'm sure I've read that they're a pretty intelligent breed. I know that several of the more intelligent breeds can suffer from MH problems if kept as single cats, without access to outdoors and with large chunks of time without their human. Unhealthily low appetite is a classic symptom of that in siamese and AFAIK other breeds too. It could be that he'd really benefit from a companion...

Jonsnowsghost Mon 13-Mar-17 12:01:43

Yeah he's a single cat however he doesn't like other cats! The few he's happened to meet he's growled at and tried to fight. He's also pretty spoiled. I'm in a lot when I'm not at work and he's not overly needy at all so I don't think he needs a companion, he also eats more when I'm out at work than he does when I'm in!

It's something I've thought extensively about as many people won't even consider homing one single ragdoll but I don't think he'll enjoy another (plus my flat isn't huge).

He's not particularly intelligent either wink

notMarlene Mon 13-Mar-17 12:56:31

I'm never too impressed if strangers randomly appear it at my windows / in my home either grin A suitable introduction is obviously necessary.

It'd honestly be worth reading up about it / speaking to a couple of breeders / looking into single cat syndrome. TBH eating more when you're out isn't really a good sign.

Doesn't sound like he's short of love or care mindsmile

Jonsnowsghost Mon 13-Mar-17 13:27:39

He never gives the impression that he's stressed or bored, he has no bad habits or bad behaviours.

I have given it a lot of thought and weighed up the pros and cons and genuinely think he'd be happier as a single cat. Often people get other cats and they end up hating each other, it's not a big flat so they would be imposing on each others territory. I'd hate to get another and have to give it up because they didn't get on or equally spend the rest of their lives in one room each because they didn't! Cats can get on with others and my mum's siamese cats were very bonded but equally when she had originally bought the first siamese her old tabby hated him. In all honesty I would only be getting another to make myself feel less guilty and I don't think that's a fair reason to have another cat. When I went to pick him up even though there were a further 5 ragdolls piled asleep in one part of the room he was off on his own on the sofa stretched out sleeping!

He does eat when I'm in, again it's the dry food, he just doesn't want the wet much!
He's got a very enriched environment too as I looked into this with only having one. He likes to look at the birds out of the window. He's pretty chilled and the only issue I have is the food issue, sometimes he eats it sometimes he doesn't.
That's him in his usual sleeping position!

notMarlene Mon 13-Mar-17 13:49:34

He's so beautiful!

Interesting that he wasn't in the pile at the breeders, some cats are indeed more solitary by nature smile

Jonsnowsghost Mon 13-Mar-17 14:45:32

I think he just prefers human company. I've had so many times thinking maybe I should get another but I always end up thinking he's fine as he is!
He's very sociable with people and loves everyone that comes to visit so it's not making him into a timid cat or anything, it's difficult to know what to do sometimes with animals!

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