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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so as mentioned in my introduction, my baby boy Jhujuu's a bit.. LARGE!

We came to an issue where he was so big, he couldn't clean his poor tushie properly. We werent positive this was the problem, because it would get so bad and swollen and red, and he would just work so hard to try and clean it, and it hurt him so he couldnt sit on it confortably! I felt so bad for his discomfort, that the third time he got this way, we took him to the vet. :cry:

Without any hesitation, the vet told us he was too fat. After having to haul him out to the dog scales for weight, he recommended a diet for him.

This diet is giving us issues.

Now, Jhuj is not really a fan of people food. He in fact, very much dislikes it. He doesnt really like soft food either, he will lick off a bit of the gravy and leave the rest for Garbage Gut Ninja!:catmilk

His heart and Soul belongs with his Frisky's Hard food! So obviously, he didnt want a thing to do with the diet food. I have since decided i am going to have to just cut down on his food, taking it down to 3/4 of a cup a day! That seems harsh, but I have come to see its actually a decent amount for any cat!

The BIGGER hardship that came along with this.. the most frustrating thing of all, is the new feeding schedule. I just cant seem to get them to get used to it, after they all have been free feeders for so long! And i cant even just give them each their bowl and call it good! Noodle is loving it.. I didn't think she ate much before, but I can tell you in the week and a half we have been doing this, the only two cats to not miss a meal call are Jhuj and Noodle. Its wonderful to see her getting what she needs! As long as I can keep that Ninja away from her dish! Ninja and Tucker are so jealous! They think Noodle and Jhujuu are getting something special, and harass them! Its hard to just stand there and watch them eat for ten min as many times a day as I have to.

Thats the other problem. I am trying to get them on some kind of routein. But so far they bug me for food every time i walk into the kitchen! And they constantly come into the bedroom while we are sleeping ( the boys, anyway) and BITE our heads to get us up to feed them! at all hours of the night! I have been feedint them before we go to bed.. but they dont care if i feed them at 1 am, they want more at 5!! This has been frustrating my boyfriend, who keeps going out into the kitchen before bed and leaving a dish down for them! Then Jhuj, I have no doubt, is gorgeing himself, and they arent hungry in the morning when I leave for work, and they end up waking him before he needs to get up because they are hungry again!

I know that if we just keep trying to enforce it, they will eventually catch on.. but how does anyone get down to twice a day! Its a rough situation! Any Advice out there?:fust
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am happy to report while we have had a few issues, My poor baby is not as bad as those two! We did have a little tushie issue, and while i am sure we havent resolved it, we are working on it now. He is still very active and happy. As much as I would love to make a change like that, I dont think this a great time to be making a big change from dry food to soft, perhaps after we have trained the kitties to get used to their new eating habits (I hope soon they will become habits!!) Then perhaps we can begin to convert them to yummy wet food.

I admit I am concerned about a few things for switching to the wet food diet, but perhaps thats a whole new issue.

Right now I am trying to regulate the amount of food Jhujuu eats, because he used to just eat and eat and eat! Whenever we went out into the kitchen and when he heard one of the other kitties eating and I am sure when he was bored. I havent decided yet that 3/4 of a cup is really enough of a regualtion, but I really dont want to cut it down more and have him drop his weight too fast. I have been testing with my other cats, giving them about that same amount, and thus far Jhuj is the only one who gobbles it all up and is still starveing!

I have also decided to start breaking their food up into only 3 kitchen stops a day, once before I go to work, once after, and once before i'm off to sleep, in hopes that if I just REALLY work at enforcing the new eating times they will stop harassing us and just eat their fill when they are supposed to.

I am pleased to say the new feeding times are still benefiting Noddle, who is so skiddish about changes I was sure she wouldn't get enough and would have another bout of anxiety! She is still LOVING the new eating times!
 

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When I finally got serious about taking weight off of my feline fatties, who ranged from slightly pudgy to morbidly obese, the first thing I did was buy a digital baby scale.
Throughout the weight loss process, and continuing to this day, I have weighed my cats every two weeks, maintaining a weight chart so that I can track their weight loss/gain between weigh-ins. I decided that a safe average rate of weight loss for my cats was between .2-.4 lbs every two weeks. Any cat who lost less than .2 lbs over the preceding 2 week period had food portions reduced a little. Any cat who lost more than .4 lbs over the preceding 2 week period had food portions increased a little.

Along with the scale, I immediately removed the all-day kibble buffet and replaced it with 3 meals a day - 2 kibble and 1 canned. I also upgraded the quality of their food significantly, not only by adding canned to their diet, but also by replacing their high-carb kibble with the lowest carb/highest protein kibble I could find, EVO.

Since all of my cats were kibbleheads who really didn't care much for canned food, I strictly portioned their kibble meals (which I fed in separate rooms behind closed doors so that there was no sharing or stealing of portions). During the canned meal, however, I would allow them to eat their fill out of communal bowls. This worked fine as long as they really didn't want to eat much canned, but once they developed a taste for it, I had to start portioning it and feeding it in separate rooms, as well.

Once the cats were adjusted to three meals a day, which only took a week or two, if I remember correctly, I eliminated the midday meal and went down to two meals/day. When I upgraded to EVO kibble, which is also a very high calorie kibble, I knew that feeding according to label guidelines would be waaaay too much, so I started out feeding only 2/3 of the recommended amount (then split that in half to account for the canned meal they were also receiving). The 2-week weigh-in showed most of them gaining weight. I reduced the kibble portion.

After the next weigh-in, most of the cats were maintaining a steady weight, so I reduced the kibble portion again. Finally, they started losing weight. By the time I had them all losing weight at a safe rate, they were receiving 1/8 c. of EVO kibble for breakfast, and 2-4 oz of canned or Raw Prey Model at night. It was enlightening for me to discover how little food cats actually need in order to maintain proper weight. I had absolutely no idea how much they were eating as gluttons being free-fed high-carb kibble, but it was obviously waaaaay more than any healthy cat ever should have been eating.

Buy yourself a digital baby scale so that you can keep an eye on your cats' rate of weight loss. That'll give you the courage to cut back on food portions AND to upgrade the quality of your cats' diets. It's unlikely that you're going to be successful at reducing your boy's weight as long as he's eating such large portions of such a low quality, high carb kibble. You need to start meeting his nutritional needs for high quality protein, and Friskies kibble ain't gonna do it.

Laurie
 
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