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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My dear, sweet, June Bug, is 9 years old and morbidly obese. She currently weighs 20lb (She's down a pound, yippy!) but still is very portly.

http://flic.kr/p/bybjMf

She is unable to clean her bottom by herself, no matter how hard she tries. (If I did it correctly, the picture above is how she sits when she tries in vain to clean her bottom herself) A couple weeks ago she visited the vet and I had them shave her bottom. I also read on the Internet that I could use baby wipes to clean her after she potties.

To say the least, she was not pleased with the shaving or butt wiping assistance. However she is slowly getting better about the assistance.

I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem and if so, how do you help your cat?

(Sorry if I've posted this in the wrong forum)
 

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awww she is a cutie ! Wish I could help, but no experience . But also have you tried games/toys to help get her moving more? Try a laser pointer for her to chase and hopefully it will help her to shed some weight.
 

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Keep up the assistance and time to start the daily weigh ins. If you want her to lose weight, buy a baby scale and chart her daily weight. As well as what she ate and the amounts.

what are you feeding her and amounts? If she is getting kibble, transition her to all wet no grain foods and possibly if you are willing eventually to raw food.
feed her normal amount, chart her weight, decrease the amount slightly to help her lose weight. if she begins to lose weight too fast, increase it a small amount. most cats only need 150 to 250 calories a day depending on activity level.

A safe rate of weight loss is 1 - 2% of their current body weight per week.

For example, if your cat weighs 20 pounds, she can safely lose up to 6 ounces per week. (20 pounds X16 ounces/pound = 320 ounces. 2% of 320 = 6 ounces.)

1% would be 3 ounces per week - or 3/4 pound/month.

As your cat loses weight, the amount of weight that she should lose each week will decrease.

For example, if your cat is down to 16 pounds, her weight loss should slow to ~2.5 -5 ounces each week which represents 1-2% of 16 pounds.

At her age I would also get a senior blood panel done to rule out other issues as well as diabetes.

Sorry if my assumption was that you were asking for advice on weight loss and it was not. But you really do want to have her healthy for the next 6-12 years. Lots of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm open to any advice. :)
Thank you, Wylde, I think she's pretty cute myself. I've only had her about a month... I adopted her from a shelter. Within the first week of having her I took her to a local vet who checked her out. She doesn't have any medical problems (no diabetes or thyroid problems) so he put her on a restricted diet.
The vet decided he wanted me to keep her on dry cat food for the time being with the occasional treat of wet food. (I had read a lot about dry cat food not being the best for a cat because they are carnivores. But my vet said he approves dry) The vet restricted her calorie intake to 250 a day. Which with the brand I have is about 2/3 a cup of dry food. So, she gets 1/3 cup in the morning and 1/3 in the afternoon. She is perfectly content with that amount of food. Lately she has been a bit angry with me (for the butt wiping) so she hasn't been eating as much.
The vet had me bring her back after 2 weeks to see how her weight was doing. (Also to check on a bacterial & yeast infection her ears) She dropped 1 pound in that 2 week period. So we are starting to get the weight down.

I was curious if anyone else had experience with assisting their cat on their bottom cleaning. To say the least she does not like the assistance. (But is starting to tolerate it a little better) I hope that some day we can get her weight down that she won't need my help, but until then she has to deal with it. I was just wondering if anyone had any pointers or tips on how their clean their kitty's bum.

Thank you, Botany, for your suggestions. I would really like to get her into eating raw food and I think I will eventually. But right now we are still getting comfortable with each other so I might put it off until after the move into our new home.
 

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you're doing a really good thing

june bug looks like such a sweetie pie. so cuddly. i'll bet she'll be even MORE cuddly as she loses weight and starts to feel more frisky. it's going to be so rewarding for you to see her eventually running (or at least trotting a little faster) around the house like a kitten again.

i don't have any advice on wiping her bum unfortunately. usually you give them treats to get them used to "unpleasant" things like that, but if you're trying to manage her weight, treats would NOT be the way to go, i suppose. maybe just giving her more love or a little play session (or even some catnip?) after the wiping?

sounds like it's going to just be a lot of work and discipline on your part for a while till she's flexible enough to clean herself. good luck, though. and keep up the good work. it'll all be worth it, of course.
 

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June bug does look adoorable in her "Buddha" pose! Get some blunt-nose 'moustache' scissors and trim back at least an inch around her anus as close to the skin as possible. This should help keep her clean. If you do have to clean her bum, position her with her hind feet near the rim of a sink and hold her football style under one arm and wash her bum with a washcloth with a little liquid soap on it, rinse well, and pat dry with a towel. Give her 1 very small treat (such as cheese), and praise her while you're washing her and when you fish with lots of "good girls" and cheek and chin rubs. Believe me, cats don't like feeling dirty or stinky, and even tho she's grumbling, I'm sure she appreciates you cleaning her up and making her feel more comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Maggie & Ami for your suggestions, I really appreciate it. She's a pretty lathargic cat... she likes napping, a lot. As the days go by she's getting a little more active. She likes to bat at a stuffed mouse on a bungie string and the cords on certain shirts I wear. I'll have to invest in a laser pointer and see if I can get some activity out of her that way.
Thanks for the football idea, Ami. My friend who owns 2 cats suggested wrapping her in a towel so I can control the squirming a little better.
 

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You know my vet approves dry food too and even gave me free samples of dry food IAMS....
But im still feeding my my Sonic wet as i believe most vets arent too versed or concerned with cat food~
and wow 20pounds 0_o my Sonic is only 2.6 pounds -_-
 

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I'll jump in just a bit on the practicalities of bottom cleaning, cold baby wipes make cats unhappy. I will often use warm wet paper towel (or 2 or 5 howevever many are needed), I've thought about looking for a baby wipe warmer on sale at toys r us or target, I hear they don't cost much and I do know that temp makes a big difference in terms of kitty tolerance.
N
 

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I've done it. I had a kitty that got up to 21 lbs, poor girl. She looked just like your kitty when she sat like that. Anyway, there are kitty wipes. I got them at the pet store. And I used to warm them up in my hands before using them. I would scratch the top of my girls head and her butt would come up. I just pinned her down there for the minute it took to clean her. She didn't like it much either at first but she got used to it.

Good luck with the diet. It's unhealthy for a cat to weigh that much, I know.
 

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I have never been able to get my cats to lose weight on a dry food diet. And dry food is not the best food for your cat, despite what your vet says. As someone else here suggested, switch her to the highest protein wet food you can afford and feed her a regulated amount of food every day. I did this with my cat when my vet said she was overweight. She slimmed down amazingly well and achieved her perfect weight, and she is not an active cat.

I had another cat that was obese, and I kept feediing her dry food on my vet's recommendation, and she never lost weight. I then read an article written by a vet on the internet saying that dry food is mostly carbohydrates and can cause serious health problems since it usually causes chronic dehydration. It can cause kidney failure. This struck me hard since my obese cat died of renal failure.

Best of luck with June Bug!
 

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Feline Obesity | Little Big Cat

This article written by a vet who has posted on Cat Forum and will help you in your efforts to help your cat safely loose weight. Most vets are not savvy about dry vs wet food. Most vets arent cat savvy either.

I have a butt cut done on one of my fosters and also use baby wipes to help clean the area. They may not like it. But the way you hold them and keep a calm energy while your doing it helps. Give them a small treat to reward them afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Samiam, my vet suggested I use a wash cloth and some waterless shampoo. They used it on her the day I had them shave her and she was remarkably clean but also pretty damp. For days that she isn't so messy I've been using alcohol free & scent free baby wipes. For extra dirty days I have been using warm water with some rags from an old t-shirt. (Maybe I'm wrong but I'm a bit squeamish at the thought of using my body wash clothes on her bottom... I think I just need to invest in some just for her)
Thanks for the article, Mitts. Maybe what I can do is give her a mixture of both dry and wet for the time being. I guess the conservative person (or cheap, however you see it) in me doesn't want to throw out the dry food and let it go to waste. (I guess I could always just donate it to the shelter...?)
I think for the time being I will work on giving her both wet and dry. In a couple more weeks I will see if the vet will see her just to weigh her and see if the diet is still working. (She did lose a pound in two weeks by being on a restricted calorie diet of dry food)

Again, thank you all for the suggestions and comments. :)
 

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agree with lots of stuff here

i'm a big fan of wet over dry, too. i think it's weird that there are still vets that don't have an opinion. from everything i've read, there's nothing good about dry - i.e. all the extra carbs, packed with useless calories, could contribute to your cat not getting enough water perhaps leading to renal failure quicker, etc... also read there's nothing "natural" about a cat crunching on dry because their wild ancestors certainly didn't do that. a lot of domestic cats, of course, have just gotten used it, but that's because we humans forced it on them out of the need for convenience, i think.

anyway, we of course DO have a huge bag of costco dry cat food at home because when we adopted Angel, that's what she was used to and so we sorta HAD to get it so that we could slowly transition her to healthier food without shocking her system. (she was having bad diarrhea before we got the costco stuff) luckily, we did transition her finally to pretty much all wet (merrick's Before Grain variety) over @6 weeks and she is doing really great! the only dry she gets is @ 10-12 pieces/day of dry treats (a mix of greenies, whiska lickins, and grainfree snacks) that she has to "hunt" for around the house in puzzle feeders throughout the day. we definitely think this switch to wet keeps her weight down AND makes her feel healthier, too. she has less poop to clean up, too, with the wet. :razz:

so, i would encourage you as well to continue the transition to wet eventually. without the extra carbs weighing down june bug, i'll bet she'll be quicker to start moving more. Angel was pretty lethargic when we first brought her home, but since the switch to all wet, she trots real fast around the house and she's bravely jumping up on furniture more and more. some people try to discourage that, but we want her jumping on things to get the exercise! ha ha! she has arthritis from being so overweight with her prior owner, though, so we provide cushioned ramps for her from just about every couch in the house. she loves jumping UP to the couch, but then loves running back down the ramps so it's easier on her joints. maybe june bug would benefit from ramps. it could help her ability to explore and exercise more.

as for the dry costco food, we thought we'd donate it to the shelter, but we are keeping it now as we plan on fostering kitties from the same shelter. this way we'll have their usual food on hand for the short time we have them with us.

sorry so long! by the way, once june bug loses the weight, she might still have lots of loose skin hanging from her belly. it's kinda funny looking, but at least it will be just skin and not fat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, Maggie, for the advice. June and I are getting ready to move (closing on a house and moving out of the rental house I'm living in) so I'm not sure if I should try to start a transition to wet right now. I'm not certain how tough this move will be on her. I mean, she is just now getting use to this house from the shelter and now I'm up-rooting her again to another house. And then after a couple months I'll have to up-root her one more time to move into the house I'm buying!

Anywho... back on topic. :) Before I picked up June my mother bought me Meow Mix. When I told the shelter employee and my friend about the Meow Mix they both gasped and said the dye in Meow Mix is hard on cats. They recommended Purina or Iams so I've been using that for now. (The shelter gave me some wet food that June sometimes got while there to help with the transition)

Anywho, I do believe I will make the transition progressively from dry to wet.
 

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no rush to transition at this point

hi again lacy,
i think it's wise to be concerned as well about june's stress level due to the house moves. i believe it's more important than switching to wet right now. i mean, she's survived this long just fine on the dry (except for being overweight), i'm sure she'll be just fine if you transition to wet over the next 4- 5 months if it takes that long. when we transitioned Angel to all wet, we did it 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day really. we would reduce/replace about that much of her dry with more wet each day and it worked great. and since i believe an equivalent amount of wet actually has less calories than dry, it helped manage her weight, too.

by the way, we also discovered a great way to combat diarrhea in case the change of food does affect june every once in a while, is to sprinkle a tiny bit of probiotics and/or mix in 1/2 teaspoon of canned pumpkin (no spices!) with her wet food. i got both those tips from this forum and it really helped. the pumpkin has the added benefit of fiber which is supposed to make her feel fuller, too. :smile:
 

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Agree with you on the moving. No need to stress her out changing her diet until she is settled. How is she taking the cleaning sessions? hope she is getting used to them. wish I had more advice on that but seems everyone has that covered.

I also agree most vets go with dry because that is what they are told by the cat food companies that do their nutrition training. Most vets only get that from the companies they are carrying so it is biased toward selling more dry then not.

I like the ramp idea to help her up on things as it may help her exercise. I recently bought Gypsy an electronic toy that has a timer and laser pointer on it. When I am too busy to stop and play (she will play constantly) I turn it on and it randomly zips a laser pointer around the room. That might be nice when you are out of the house to encourage her moving about more. maybe for 5 minute stints so she doesn't over do it? i got mine at wal-mart. the doggy treat balls might be fun for her too, I would recommend getting the jerky strips for dogs (not made in china) and snipping them with kitchen shears and see if she will look for them (less carbs then normal cat treats).

So far it sounds like you have a good idea where you are going. Lots of luck. More pics would be lovely (hint). Gypsy may need a diet change soon, she seems to be getting just a bit too.. umm.. plushie herself, but she may be getting ready to hit another growth spurt.
 
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