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Helping chubby kitty slim down

(40 Posts)
dinksandbinks Thu 07-Dec-17 23:22:45

Good evening!

I’ve been lurking here for a while, and you all seem lovely, so I’m being brave and asking for advice!

We have two indoor cats, one of whom is rather chubby. She is a very petite cat, but in he past year has gained 1.5kg to almost 5kg. She now outweighs her bigger older brother, and on a visual weight chart is verging on obese.

We took them both to the vet for a regular check up, and the vet advised reducing portions gradually, and also slowly switching to lower calorie food. We’ve been doing this for the last 6 months but chubby kitty has only lost 0.2kg, but our other cat has lost 0.5kg and is looking a bit skinny.

They have dry food to graze at; we weigh it out each morning so they aren’t getting too much. They also get a little bit of plain chicken, and have fresh water.

I’m fairly sure chubby cat is eating more than her fair share, but we both work, and can’t monitor them all the time. But even then, we would have expected her to lose a bit more weight. Chubster has had a lot of other health problems (water retention, slight heart murmur, undeveloped bone structure in places) so we’re wondering if the weight could be a medical issue rather than diet? She’s 8, so still relatively young (Russian Blue, so long lived breed).

The vet stresses them out so I am hoping there may be solutions that I haven’t thought of from the wise cat servants here!

MonaChopsis Fri 08-Dec-17 07:14:30

I had this issue and shelled out for a microchip operated cat feeder. Keyed it to skinny cat, who can now munch unmolested, whilst fat cat's food is still in the open cat bowl. Worked like a dream.

NoSquirrels Fri 08-Dec-17 07:18:00

Because of this issue in our rescued cats, we feed on a schedule, no food down through the day to pick at. Both adapted surprisingly quickly. Both on different food, and measured portions.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 08-Dec-17 07:38:02

Dry foods carby & cats don't require carbs.

We feed ours wet food & he has set meal times. He has cereal free gourmet pouches but butchers choice is grain free & much cheaper.

Is she a large cat though? Ours is 6.2kg but still has a waist. One vet told me he should be 4kg but he'd he skin & bones at that weight.

dinksandbinks Fri 08-Dec-17 09:06:54

Good morning
Thanks all for the super helpful replies!

Mona The microchip bowl is genius!! I had no idea such a thing existed. I think we’ll try that.

NoSquirrels Do you mind me asking their feeding schedule? We’d like to get to that point eventually, as it’s harder to
monitor portions with graze feeding.

Fluffy that’s a really good point about carbs. I’ll look into wet food options - chubby kitty is quite sensitive to food (she went through a good 3 months of throwing up literally everything... vet suspects a kind of IBS). She is unfortunately very fat - no waist visible at all. She was always so petite but about 18 months ago she just started gaining; we’ve not noticed a change in her eating habits. The persistent vomiting was about 3 years ago, and everything seemed fine until the weight gain.

Some great ideas here, thank you all so much! This is a picture of the little lady, with her “you woke me up to take my picture... riiiiight...” face on smile

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 08-Dec-17 11:11:36

No advice sorry, but. I just want to say. He's very handsome. I don't do cats and kittens. I only coo at themfgrin

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 08-Dec-17 11:12:48

Oh sorry it's a she.fblush.
Well she's certainly very pretty

Weedsnseeds1 Fri 08-Dec-17 11:30:37

Wet food is lower calorie weight for weight, so could help.
Do you feed treats at all? If so, cut them out.
Can you get her moving more? Fishing rod toys, small balls, feed her upstairs in the evening so she has to run up and down to get fed?

dinksandbinks Fri 08-Dec-17 12:11:33

Don’t worry Awwlook, we also have her brother and they are fairly interchangeable as they look so similar!! She will be very pleased to hear your complement though!! Not that her ego needs any assistance ;)

Weeds they don’t get any treats at all. Dreamies embargo in this house! We try to get her to move as much as we can, but she has a long term injury to her front leg (tried to climb curtains and got her claw stuck) so we can’t let her do too much running. She does like climbing so we’re going to get them an extra cat tree for christmas! Also bought ‘da bird’ and a few extras!!

Want2beme Fri 08-Dec-17 15:08:15

She's lovely. My lovely old boy who left this world a few months ago, was a very big lad most of this life. It was so frustrating being told by so many vets that he needed to lose weight. I did try to help him, but it made no difference, in fact he wasn't even a big eater. Eventually, a different vet saw him and commented on his size, but told me that although he'd be better a little slimmer, some cats are just big and to stop stressing about it. He lived to the age of 20 and was a regular at the vets, so was by no means neglected. I'm not suggesting your girl won't lose weight, it's just my story.

Good luckcake - sorry, couldn't resist.

NoSquirrels Fri 08-Dec-17 18:40:00

We feed both Fat Girl & Smaller Boy at 7am-ish and 6pm-ish.

Fat Girl is on Royal Canin Metabolic, and Smaller Boy on Applaws.

Both eat it all & that’s it. In the rare occasion it’s not all eaten that’s Smaller Boy, and we just lift the food & stick it in a cupboard away from Fat Girl and put it back out later if he’s looking around (microchip feeder would probably do this job).

Fat Girl was HUGE when we got her. She’s now...acceptable, according to vet. Still looks big but is a good weight.

Only downside is absolute insistence on breakfast at the correct time!

littlekellysmum Fri 08-Dec-17 22:45:39

This is the first time I am coming across a thread for slimming down for a Pet. Interesting! Would losing calories help your cat in health? In other words, is being chubby affecting the health? Answering your question, let your pet play in garden or park. Make her run a lot. Hope that would help in slimming down.

Weedsnseeds1 Fri 08-Dec-17 23:32:28

Is she noticeably fat? She doesn't look it from the photo, but head on so difficult to tell.
But the fact she's getting chubby, while her brother loses weight does suggest she's scoffing the lot!
My boy is a lump, described as "a good weight" by the rescue centre.
At one year appointment for his boosters, the vet hauled him in to the scales, looked askance at the reading, eyeballed the cat and shrugged " it's a lot for a cat, but he's huge"
Friends have a border terrier and my cat is the same size, but weighs a bit less.
I'm always a bit stunned by pictures of American cats as a lot really do look massively overweight ( not all of them are, I realise, but people seem to post pics of very fat cats more than normal ones),.
If your cat genuinely could do with losing a bit, then wet food and a microchip bowl seem to be the way forward.

StillMedusa Sat 09-Dec-17 00:50:04

Does she only eat at your house?
Only asking because I have Obie..aka Six dinner Sid who dines at at LEAST 4 houses down my street and has a right jelly belly. (he's around 10kg...ok he's a Maine Coon and a BIG cat but he he is not long and lean!) Our vet laughs when she weighs him because she knows about his house hopping habits!
She is very beautiful btw even if she is a chunk!

BaliBound Sat 09-Dec-17 00:58:05

I could have written your post. I have a nearly 8yo who a few weeks ago, was weighed at the vets and has gained a kg in a year.

We've always let him graze so I have no idea how much he eats. This worked perfectly for the first 7 years of his life 😳 Im trying to give less biscuits and at a set meal time but hes not agreeable to this at the moment.

dinksandbinks Sat 09-Dec-17 11:34:55

Hi everyone!!

I’m so grateful for all the advice and I am glad I’m not alone with greedy kitty problems!

Want2be I’m sorry to hear you lost your lovely boy. 20 years is impressive! We used to have a problem with out last vet telling us our boy cat was overweight... he, like yours, was just big. When we moved and got a new vet, they even said he looked slightly thin. Dinks does look podgy, but it’s more the rapid gain that the vet was concerned about, and now she’s not losing I’m getting a little concerned too, but there are brilliant ideas here for us to try before going back to the vet.

NoSquirrels We have the metabolic dry food! They love it, perhaps a bit too much?! How are yours getting on? We will try that schedule... weekends might be painful ;)

Little They’re indoor cats, can’t really take a cat to a park and make it run ;) But yes, calorie control is the idea. Her health is fine otherwise.

Weeds They vet pointed out where she was on a visual weight chart - she was between very overweight and obese sad She is definitely a lot rounder in the middle than she used to be, but the biggest issue I guess is the weight. She was 3.5kg for most of her adult life then whoosh an extra 1.5kg appeared. It seems like such a huge increase! I know the pics you mean of American cats, esp on Reddit! She’s not that bad yet but we want to make sure it doesn’t get worse smile I’ll see if I can find a picture that highlights the chub. We did think this morning she was looking a bit trimmer... we’ll see smile

Medusa She’s an indoor cat but I had exactly that problem with my last cat who was an outdoor girl!! There was a lovely old man across the road who used to give her kippers and milk every day. She would roll home and sleep for hours, then go to her next engagement. It’s only us to blame for poor Dinks’ weight though! I loooove Maine Coons! They are so beautiful, and their personalities are wonderful! A good friend of mine used to have one, he was like a puppy.

Bali I’m sorry you also have a chubby kitty problem; I’m glad I’m not alone though! Funny how we’ve had exactly the same experience! We’re definitely going to try the wet food and microchip feeder approach. OH wants to try wet food on it’s own, first, with supervised mealtimes. Will report back!!

Thanks again everyone. Here’s a picture of Binks (the non-chubby brother) showing off his claws!!

dinksandbinks Sat 09-Dec-17 11:39:59

You can kind of see the podge in this picture...

Papergirl1968 Sat 09-Dec-17 11:44:19

Ahh, beautiful. Like a teddy bear!

Mustang27 Sat 09-Dec-17 11:47:01

She really doesn't look chubby I don't think.

Want2beme Sat 09-Dec-17 11:52:38

dinks now there's a judgemental look, if ever I've seen one.

BaliBound Sat 09-Dec-17 13:42:31

I know, I thought it was odd how similar the two situations were when I read your post. Especially the gain over a short time period. Mine now has a little belly that hangs down, we call it his middle aged spread 😳

Hes always been an outdoor cat and used to be roaming alot. He spends a lot more time lazing about the house and only pops out for short spells now. Judging by the speed we get through them I think the greedy little mite has filled the time that he used to spend exploring with eating biscuits.

I'm going to try more meat and just a scant amount of measured biscuits a day. I'll find a little cup or scoopy thing to use and thay can be his daily biscuit allowance. We only have one cat so its easier to monitor his food.

dinksandbinks Sat 09-Dec-17 15:11:07

Papergirl They are both very bear like!! The boy in particular; we call him Mr Bear a lot of the time! Esp when he is begging, stood up on his back legs!

Mustang Do you think so? That’s reassuring. I just want to make sure we don’t give her potential future health problems by letting her weight spiral. We’ll see how wet food goes - they absolutely adore it, so I don’t think they will mind a switch!

Want2be Isn’t is!! Dinks had the best facial expressions of any cat I’ve ever had. She’s very very vocal too, with a huge variety of noises. Such a massive personality for a dinky cat. I have occasionally thought she looks a little like Mr Burns from the Simpsons...

Bali We say the same!! Middle aged spread!! The vet did not think it was funny (spoil sport). I got a cheap set of measuring cups and found the one that closest matches the amount of dry food we give. Both lost weight this way, but not very much. Will see what happens if we halve the dry food and add in some wet. Microchip feeders are expensive so we’re going to try simpler things first!

Mustang27 Sat 09-Dec-17 16:02:30

They are both beautiful and I have cat envy!!! You will know best if she is carrying a wee bit more than you like. I spot it with my pets quickly. Hopefully she isn't to bothered with any changes you implement. If they ever need extra hugs send them my way

NoSquirrels Sat 09-Dec-17 20:02:27

I’ll dig out Fat Girl’s weight chart but she’s really lost a lot, but it took at least a year - she is terrifically lazy, so not much activity, doesn’t play etc so with food restriction we have had to be really strict. Treats are extremely occasional! She’ll never lose her fat appearance and belly hang, but she’s an acceptable weight now. This is her pre-weight loss when we first got her shock

Weedsnseeds1 Sat 09-Dec-17 21:21:45

Yep, that's a definite podge nosquirrels!
You've done well to help her get down to a better weight.

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