Kitty weight loss help! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Kitty weight loss help!

Hey guys, I apologize if this has been posted a million times.

Itty Bitty is weighing in at close to 25 lbs. This is the heaviest he's ever been, and I know he needs to lose weight. He's a big cat, very long, so it's natural that he be a bit heavier than a typical cat, however 25 lbs. is not a "bit". He's constantly ravenous. He will eat and eat, almost like a dog. He eats his bowl of food, knocks his brother out of the way, and then consumes all of his brother's food. Itty Bitty will actually start biting us if he doesn't get food. He's extra mean to my mom, and she will feed him out of frustration to make him go away...just adds to the problem.

I don't even know where to start with this. I thought I was doing all the right things. He eats light wet and light dry food. The dry food is always available to both my cats, but I don't like the idea of not having something out for them, just in case they feel peckish. Should I perhaps just feed them, then remove all food when they're done until the next feeding? My other cat is not overweight, so I don't want him to start suffering. I just don't really know what to do. He's a very healthy cat, and I don't think there's any underlying causes that could keeping the weight on. Itty Bitty and his brother get fed wet food in the morning, then have dry food available all the time, with another feeding of wet food at dinner time. Sometimes, as I mentioned, when he bites, he sometimes get more wet food from my mom.

Is there sometime i'm missing here? What is the best way for a cat to lose weight? Is sticking with this light wet/dry food the best option? I just feel frustrated and I worry about Itty Bitty's health. Anybody have any feeding plans that worked for their kitties? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 11:12 PM
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Are you sure he's eating the dry food?

I think that 25 lbs is still probally a fairly safe weight limit, if he is a bigger size cat,

and that your wanting to do something should be done slowly,

along with getting the urine and blood test to rule out any medical issue.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2006, 11:45 PM
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I know how frustrating it can be! How old is he? As Cat Daddy said, the first thing I would do is get a full check up and rule out any health problems like hypothyroidism.
Assuming he's healthy, I would cut out the dry food and stop free feeding. Your other cat will not suffer. Personally, I don't believe in lite formulas as I've never had a cat lose weight on them (in fact the contrary) and I don't think they are as nutritious. I would slowly switch to the highest quality wet food I can get. Check the labels to make sure that meat is the first ingredient (Not meat-by-products!) and that it doesn't have many carbs and fillers.
I would do everything slowly. Just leave a little dry out and tapper off over a week or so 'till they just get mealtimes. Then I'd give several smaller meals during the day (like 4 or 5) and tapper that down 'till your at 2 or 3. I think the main trick is to be consistant. Do not feed him when he begs under any circumstances except at mealtime. As for the biting, of course he bites! He knows he'll get food if he does. If he gets a good sharp "No!" and/or a time out he will stop eventually. By feeding him when he bites you're just rewarding his bad behavior and it'll take longer for him to stop. But he will if you're strong. I know it's easier said than done but in the long run, it's best for him.
When I switched my guys over ( same trouble, one tubby and one fine) It took a month or so for him to stop begging for food. And, yes, it did break my heart sometimes and annoy me no end others! But he did stop and now gets fed 2 meals a day and a snack before bed and is perfectly happy and a great weight. I also think he's more active now. An added bonus. And my little guy has maintained his weight too.
Sorry this is so long but as I said, I know how frustrating it can be. I had tried everything for years before and nothing worked for me except the above. I hope it helps!! Good luck.

Victoria
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the advice! He just had his check-up with the vet a few days ago, and the vet has said that other than his weight, he's perfectly healthy, so it must be just a food thing.

Itty Bitty is a about 5 1/2 years old now. He was the runt of the litter (hence his name), but now he's just grown and grown. Very very cute, but worrysome for the health side effects.

He will eat the dry food if he has to. If he's crying at me for food, and I just fill up his dry food, he looks at me like "Umm..excuse me! What the heck is this!?!" I will definitely start weaning them off the free feeding. The vet had mentioned something similar, but to leave a bowl somewhere that Itty Bitty can't get to that's available to his brother. This is all awesome advice, I appreciate it so much! Itty Bitty does too, i'm sure I think he'll love the idea of more meals during the day, even if they're much smaller.

The food right now is Science Diet light, but more often than not, he's eating Natural Balance or Eagle Pack or something higher-end. I'll try what you guys have suggested and hope for the best!

Oh, one more thing. I had mentioned to the vet that I was trying to get Itty Bitty to "exercise", sort of I'd pay with him with some string, or anything to get him active. The vet said I wouldn't be helping him burn any useful amount of calories, but I can't seem why it would hurt. Should I continue this exercise, or am I just being silly? If anything, I guess it's some good bonding time

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 01:58 AM
 
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Any kind of exercise is good for cats. I wanted to keep my soon to be 15yr old active and we walk around the diningroom table together 3 times before each meal. I have her food dish in my hand. She thinks it is fun and sometimes even starts before I get over there. It has become part of our routine now. She lost 1/2 pound at her last vet appt and the vet thought it was great we were doing this. I read that even stretching their arms to hit at something is good for them to do.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 02:20 AM
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I would absolutely continue the excercise/ play! One of the members here, sorry I don't remember who, played chase around the kitchen table before she fed her cat. I love that idea!
Just to add a couple of things. One of the foods my cats had been on to lose weight was Science Diet R/D and W/D. But they just kept getting fatter!! It's also very high in carbs and fiber so I'm not sure how they expect it to help in weight loss. Personally, I think it's awful food. But you'd be hard pressed to find a vet to agree with me. I think he's way better off on the other foods but I believe some people here have said that Natural Balance is quite high in calories (but that may only be the dry). I could be completely mistaken so you may want to double check.

Victoria
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 12:44 PM
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Did the Vet do a blood and/or urine test? Don't just take an 'exam' as being thourough.

Calories burned during exersize seem small at first, but when you add it up over 6 months or a year it gets to be alot.

And exersize is good for his heart.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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Science diet light and free feeding is a bad combination. My cats gained a lot of weight on that too. When I switched to a higher quality food it was a bit better, but in the end switching to mostly or all wet has been the most help.

I'd recommend using larger sized cans, as they are a lot more economical. For brands you are going to want to steer away from science diet or things like it, as they tend to still have a lot of carbs which won't help a lot with weight. You want the protein source to be the first several ingredients, with any sort of grain listed later or not at all.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2006, 03:16 PM
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That's right, it was you RockysMom. I just love that idea!

Victoria
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