(over?) large kitty - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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(over?) large kitty

My cat, Nardamon, is a very big boy – and has requirements to match. He weighs about 14 lb (pictures below).
When I'm home all day, he's capable of eating an entire tin (400 gram = 14.1 ounce) of food in one day . If he's hungry enough and I'm not around he'll eat some dry food – and he'll still finish most of a tin of wet food.
Sometimes when I'm feeding him Whiskas he definitely overdoes it. On 3 occasions the (not so) little glutton has eaten so much so fast that he's thrown up. On the most recent occasion, he'd asked for – and gotten – a second portion of Whiskas. When I came back a couple of minutes later, he was still busy eating the second portion….but he'd thrown up some of the first portion .

Equally problematic – he goes through a bag of crystal cat litter that’s supposed to last a normal cat one month in just one week .


Is this normal for a cat his size?
Is he eating too much?
Do I (somehow ) need to put him on a diet?


This is Nardamon from above. For size comparison, the tiles he's on are 13x13 inches, the grey tiles are 3.75 inches long, and the tiles below that are 15.75x15.75 inches.



This is Nardamon spread out (and hanging over – his favorite kind of position)

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 03:19 PM
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Re: (over?) large kitty

The pictures aren't working for me.

But, 14 ounces is a LOT of food for a cat to eat no matter his size. Most cats get by on a 5.5-6oz can of food per day, my cat is very small and eats 2/3 of a can per day. The big cans (13oz) last her 3-4 days (I don't really pay that much attention)

Someone will probably come along with a better estimate of how much he should get in a day...

Anyway, the key is to not feed him every time HE tells you he wants food. It is to decide how much he should be eating per day and split that into how ever many meals you choose. Most people do two meals a day, but if you have a begger 3-4 smaller meals spread out might keep him happier.

As for going through the litter too quickly, exactly what do you mean? Is he urinating large amounts several times per day? Does he drink a lot of water?

Taking him in for a check up is probably the best thing you can do. Your vet will weigh him, have a look and feel and give you a better idea of what his ideal weight is. They should also run some bloodwork to check for diabetes and see how his kidneys are functioning. Both of those will affect his drinking and urination.

Jessie

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: (over?) large kitty

Pictures fixed, I hope.

I don't really keep track of how much water he drinks in a day, I just make sure his water bowls are kept full. I also don't keep track of how often he uses his litter box. The cat litter gets clogged with urine though - the bottom layer in the litter box gets soaked. Maybe he doesn't dig enough in the cat litter to get the bottom layers of the crystals to mix with the rest of the litter.

Quote:
Anyway, the key is to not feed him every time HE tells you he wants food
Just how do you tell a cat that he can't have more food???

Daddy, I want food please
I want food!
I WANT FOOD!
GIVE ME FOOD OR ELSE .......
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 08:55 PM
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Re: (over?) large kitty

I have to say, that is waaaaaaay too much food for a cat in one day. I have an almost 19 lb male (who isn't fat) who eats less than half of that per day. It's hard to tell from the photos because he so furry, he looks like he might be overweight, but not an extreme amount. But the amount of urine you say he's outputting is concerning. Feline diabetes symptoms also include increased appetite and weight loss. The fact that he's eating so much and not gaining weight is also a concern. I definitely recommend a vet visit.

Another possibility is hyperthyroid, which has the symptoms of increased appetite and extreme thirst, which would explain lots of urine.

Basically, what you're seeing doesn't sound normal and has enough symptoms that is sounds medical rather than behavioral.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 01:49 AM
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Re: (over?) large kitty

The reason he bothers you for food is because he knows he's going to get it. Eventually, if it isn't getting him anything he'll stop.

For instance. I have a dog. I can eat anywhere in the house and she won't budge from whatever piece of furniture she's on. She doesn't sit and beg, she doesn't pay me any attention... because she knows she's not going to get anything from me. However, the second my mother goes in the kitchen, she and the cat come running. Its actually gotten to the point that my dog can tell when she's done eating and will nudge her until she gets to lick the plate.

I think I saw on your meet my kitty thread that he's fairly young - only a few years old? If so, while its still possible it is less likely to be a health issue with the urine output... especially if he eats mostly wet food (which is better for him by the way, so don't change that!)

I do know the crystal litter is designed to have the solids removed and the urine stirred around on a daily basis to help it absorb. Maybe that would help? You could also change to a clumping litter. I think the crystals are horrible expensive (at least they were when I tried them several years ago) and didn't think they were worth it. With clumping litter, you can also keep track of what kinds of output your kitty is doing.

As far as cutting back on his food - it must be done gradually. You can't just drop him from a whole 14oz a day to like 6. Do it slowly. An easy way to do it at first is every time you would normally feed him, give him a much smaller portion. He'll still eat several times a day but take in less food in all.

Jessie

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: (over?) large kitty

I adopted Nardamon about 4 months ago, and his previous owner said he was 1.5 years old at the time.

I think that part of the reason he's eating so much is that I'm giving him mostly wet food, and as much variety as possible of the best cat foods available. In his former home he was living exclusively on a single flavor of a low grade dry food (first ingredient – chicken, second ingredient – corn meal, next 5 ingredients – other starches, including corn gluten meal). Boring! Probably unhealthy too. Now he complains about having to finish a whole tin of food before I switch flavors, and not getting enough Whiskas .

I just acquired a clumping litter I wanted to try – I'll see how it goes. I'll also keep track over the next week of exactly how much food he eats and how much water he drinks – I can't take him to the vet this week in any case.

On cat training, I just know from experience that cats can be extremely stubborn about certain things. Ginger RIP made me get up and give him breakfast at 5:00 am, after which I was allowed to go back to sleep . I fought it for months before I conceded – he was going to wake me up anyway, no matter what, and chasing him around trying to punish him severely for waking me up made it more difficult to get back to sleep than just feeding him did .
Like it says in your signature: "There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
I seem to be fighting a similar losing battle with Nardamon over clawing pants (not just jeans, and not just mine – visitors can get their pants clawed too) .
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2008, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: (over?) large kitty

OK, after tracking Nardamon's food and water intake over a period of 6 days, the results are that each day (on average) he consumes:

7 ounces of wet food
0.35 cups of dry food
0.6 cups of water

Note – I was home all of Saturday. Saturday at noon I opened a tin of Whiskas, and by the end of the evening, the little glutton had finished half of it. That's half a tin of Whiskas in half a day, when on average half a tin lasted a whole day .Obviously, I need to do a better job of not letting him pig out on stuff he really likes .


So, the question is: does Nardamon need a diet or a doctor?
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