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Discussion Starter #1
I have to admit it now: my Nemo is overweight. Not much, he weights 5,8kg (that's about 13 lbs if you wish), but he's a bit heavy for a Siamese. When petting him, I can feel his spine, but not ribs. He's spayed and only one year old, so I worry what will happen if I won't get him to lose some of that weight.

The problem is that Nemo isn't our only cat: Wizard is 6 and quite fit. Most of the time, Wizard is clearly the alpha male, but when it comes to feeding, Wizard is picky and slow eater and Nemo wulfs everything down in no time. Judging by the size of their stools, Nemo eats twice as much Wizard, so no wonder he's getting fat. These are the options I've come to:

1. Live with it - and hope he does too.
2. Execise him more - he's a playfull boy - but I'm a afraid it would be a full time job to lose to play him back to shape without diet chances.
3. Reduce their meal size and try to sneak some treats to Wizard when Nemo isn't watching.

Any ideas? Anyone?
 

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MowMow's advice is spot on. Feed them portioned, scheduled meals 2-3 times daily behind closed doors in separate rooms. Wizard will learn that he has to eat his meals when served or wait until the next mealtime to eat again. But if he's a really picky and slow eater, it would be a good idea to find him a food that he likes more so that he'll eat more enthusiastically when fed.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tip. We probably have to try that. Usually, when we close a door between them, they end up crying for each other on the opposite sides of the door. But they'll learn eventullay, right?
 

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They may not cry for each other if they're busy eating, but if they do, you can sit with each one while he's eating until they get used to the new feeding routine.

Laurie
 

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I have almost the same situation as you. My Meatball is 9 lb and a bit overweight. My other cat Metoo is 8 lb and perfectly fit. Metoo doesn't eat as passionately as Meatball, so she almost always finish later than Meatball.

They were fed with different dishes, and before, Meatball always approach Metoo's dish when she finished first. Metoo will stop eating and walk away when she sees Meatball coming. I cannot put the girls in different rooms, because Metoo will not eat, she will be busy scratching the door. I cannot cage either Meatball or Metoo, because Metoo won't eat when either her or Meatball is caged. I cannot even put their dishes far apart, because again, Metoo will be busying checking out what Meatball is doing :/

So the only means I left is accompany Metoo when she is eating. I shoo Meatball away when she approaches. It WAS time consuming and bit annoying but very effective. Now Metoo won't walk away when seeing Meatball coming. I think she knows Meatball won't be able to come close. Also Meatball learned not to disturb Metoo when she is still eating. She will sit afar waiting and only come to Metoo's dish after Metoo walks away. Now I don't need to "supervise" them anymore, and Meatball is losing weight :D
 

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Dish the food up and put it down for them in separate rooms with the door closed.

Give them 20 minutes to eat and then pick up the dishes whether they have eaten it or not (I dont usually take a dish away if the cat is actively working on eating it).

Try again at the next feeding and repeat. I bet when they've missed a meal they won't be so worried about what the other one is doing behind the door.

This is assuming you are feeding them three times a day. If you only feed them once a day then......don't. :p Start feeding them three times a day.
 

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I feed my cats 2x/day and I follow the same routine Mowmow is describing. If they don't finish their food within 15-20 mins, then the food is up for grabs. I started doing this to combat finickyness, but it's worked well with the food aggression issues as well. It's also a great way to monitor what each cat eats.

Azalia last year lost about 3 lbs by separating the cats and giving each one portioned feedings at set times.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been thinking about changing our feeding routine, but I'm affaird my spouse won't like my plans: I think she won't be pleased if Wizard has to adapt new habits for Nemo. She likes Wizard more than Nemo, who's more mine than hers. And it will be big change for Wizard to learn to eat alone in 20 minutes or so, poor thing.
 

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I would hope that she was would be more interested in doing what's best for an animal under her care. It's only a total of 60 minutes out of his day for the 3 or 4 days it takes him to get used to it.......
 

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I've been thinking about changing our feeding routine, but I'm affaird my spouse won't like my plans: I think she won't be pleased if Wizard has to adapt new habits for Nemo. She likes Wizard more than Nemo, who's more mine than hers. And it will be big change for Wizard to learn to eat alone in 20 minutes or so, poor thing.
I switched all of my cats from free-feeding to scheduled meals about 5 yrs ago. Prior to that, I had free-fed cats for 40+ yrs. I won't be going back to free-feeding, and here's why. When I was free feeding, I had no idea how much food any individual cat was eating throughout the day. As a result, I didn't notice that one of my cats had been steadily losing weight until his weight loss was substantial. He wasn't a cuddly cat, and he had a very dense coat, so gradual weight loss wasn't obvious. By the time his excessive weight loss WAS obvious and I got him to the vet, he was so sick with renal failure that I wasn't able to stabilize him. That completely avoidable tragedy, coupled with the fact that most of my other cats were overweight due to free-feeding, finally convinced me to switch to portioned meals so that I could keep a vigilant eye on what and how much everyone was eating.

Since switching to portioned meals, I now know immediately when one of my cats quits eating for some reason. I catch fevers, constipations, and other medical issues within hours instead of days or weeks. I am quickly on top of anything that makes one of my cats feel sickly so that I can take corrective measures before the condition worsens. I won't be losing another cat to my own oversight due to the convenience of free-feeding.

Explain to your spouse that inappetance is often the first symptom of illness in cats. Feeding scheduled, portioned meals can be life-saving because it is the only way to monitor exactly how much food each of your cats is taking in at every meal. It's also a very good idea to buy a digital baby scale - esp. if you intend to put a cat on a diet - and weigh the cats every two weeks to chart their weights and adjust food portions appropriately. I've been doing this with my cats since 2007, as well.

Laurie
 

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nothing new here, just thought i'd add one more who has scheduled meal times and supervised eating. mine isn't really to make a cat lose weight, my older cat throws up if she eats too much so she gets less (she's way smaller than the other two, plus she's old, she's 6.2 and between that and 7 she's perfect). BUT she's hungry (i give her many small meals--they're all on the teaspoon method, if they're starving, they get a tsp. of food between meals) all the time and will eat any food the others leave and then barf. which is kind of dumb because then i have to feed her all over again.

hyperthyroidism in humans isn't fatal i don't believe, but it is in cats. if you don't get a baseline then your cat's levels can look normal but still be high so it's good to watch that.

she has a specific little container of food (inside the bigger one) that i fill up daily to make sure she eats all she is due, no matter how many meals it takes her.

just a note in case someone doesn't realize: hyperthyroidism is very common in older cats, i'd say onset at maybe 12--maybe 10, i'm not sure. but it causes a cat to lose weight, among other things that may or may not be obvious. it can also cause kidney damage and mask high blood pressure so it's always good to get geriatric cats' baselines for certain things. anyway, she hovered at 8 lbs. for years, kind of yo-yoing because i'd get her to her ideal weight and then i'd get busy and she'd steal food back up a lb. lol. so i got all happy when she started losing weight but then she lost about an entire pound in a month so it became an issue. she was already on thyroid meds, so that's when i started giving her some baby food in between meals and she hasn't lost any more weight.

it's definitely a pain to supervise food for three or more cats. at first i felt horribly inconvenienced--i just got used to it. it's kind of like flossing your teeth twice a day. you get it incorporated into your routine and you won't even notice after awhile, it will just be something you do.
 

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When we get a pet, we are assuming a responsibility for its life, health, and well-being. Cats ask so little of us... getting fed a couple of times a day, a clean litterbox, some physical activity, and love.

Each of these things takes only a few minutes of our day's time, and yet there is no shortage of people who try to cut corners by never playing with their cats, and/or using automated litter boxes, and/or free-feeding dry kibble. I believe all of these things are a part of the same problem, which is the owner's detachment from the cat's needs.

Cats are independent creatures and don't need us all the time, but when it comes to feeding them and staying up to date on their health needs, it's very important to to be there and know what is happening. Some crucial signs of sickness will be missed if the person does not know how much their cats are eating (and likewise, if the person does not clean the litterbox to see what is happening in there). And overeating could lead to obesity which in turn leads to health problems.

Scheduled feedings are extremely important, and should be done unless the person is not home for very extended periods of time. However if this happens on a regular basis, a cat is probably not the best fit for such a person.

Good on you for seeing the problem before it gets worse. Now you just need to convince your spouse. I really don't like her attitude of favoring one cat over another. I know people might bond with one animal more than another, but to outright refuse something that would resolve an issue one cat is having because it will force the other to change its habits is too much favoritism. Regardless, though, this change would be better for BOTH cats. Try to let her know that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One thing I want to make straight: our cats are loved and well cared for - both of them. At the moment we have a weight problem but we are working on it.
My spouse just has a spesial relationship with Wizard. Me and Nemo just have to deal with it. Wizard has been with her longer than I. She took in the shyest cat in the shelter. The cat lived under her bath tub for the first two weeks. Everybody said that even if the cat would get used to her, he would still be scared of everybody else and disappear under the bed if visitors would came. And now that very cat runs to the door every time the door bell rings to greet the visitors and to begs to be petted! He sleeps in our bed every night.
She knows how delicate thing Wizard can be and doesn't want to disturb the balance. I can't blame her for that. - And them came I and my bloody pure bred and hyperactive Siamese! (Sorry this is so of topic...)

Back to the diet: We tried to reduce their meal size and pamper Wizard with some extra snacks. Went fine untill I weighted the cats: over a month (on the diet probably two weeks) Nemo has gained 200g and Wizard 400g! So we are over feeding both of the boys. I find that weird because Wizard used to be free fed when he was the only cat.

Now we swiched into three meals per day (they used to get two) and ditched all the snacks. We hope three meals will make them feel full even if they won't get that much food anymore. Boys seem to think that they tricked an extra meal from us and try to squeese out one more;-). I'll weight them weekly now on. If they won't lose weight, we'll continue reducing the food.
 

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I'm not surprised that your boys gained weight. The same thing happened with mine when I first switched them from free-feeding to portioned meals. I had absolutely NO idea how little cats actually need to eat in order to maintain proper weight. It took me 4-6 weeks to gradually reduce food portions enough to establish steady, slow weight loss. It took me even longer to look at a bowl with 1/8 c. kibble in it and recognize it as a full meal. After a couple of years, though, I started looking at that same 1/8 c. and seeing it for exactly what it was - an appropriate meal for an animal the size of a housecat. Funny how perspectives change over time.

The first time Wizard skips a meal, your wife will realize the value of feeding portioned meals. For now, it seems that all of you are adjusting quickly to the new feeding protocol.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Today is the first of the weekly weighting. The goal of the week was only to maintain the weight, as my weights graduation is 0,1kg and weight loss over 0,150kg per week can be dangerous for cats (it can cause liver damage). Next week we hopefully have lost first 0,1kg. If not, we reduce the food a bit.

And yes: the cats haven't put anymore weight this week ^^.
 

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Boys seem to think that they tricked an extra meal from us and try to squeese out one more:wink:.
lol. seriously. it's kind of funny. i have to keep track of who i'm feeding and how much because the old one gets food a lot more often, and as you can imagine, the other two are like, "WELL? where's MINES?" haha

and sometimes you can trick them a little if you give them (what looks like to humans) a very tiny amount. it seems to be the amount of times food goes into their dishes and not the amount.
 

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I have almost the same situation as you. My Meatball is 9 lb and a bit overweight. My other cat Metoo is 8 lb and perfectly fit. Metoo doesn't eat as passionately as Meatball, so she almost always finish later than Meatball.

They were fed with different dishes, and before, Meatball always approach Metoo's dish when she finished first. Metoo will stop eating and walk away when she sees Meatball coming. I cannot put the girls in different rooms, because Metoo will not eat, she will be busy scratching the door. I cannot cage either Meatball or Metoo, because Metoo won't eat when either her or Meatball is caged. I cannot even put their dishes far apart, because again, Metoo will be busying checking out what Meatball is doing :/

So the only means I left is accompany Metoo when she is eating. I shoo Meatball away when she approaches. It WAS time consuming and bit annoying but very effective. Now Metoo won't walk away when seeing Meatball coming. I think she knows Meatball won't be able to come close. Also Meatball learned not to disturb Metoo when she is still eating. She will sit afar waiting and only come to Metoo's dish after Metoo walks away. Now I don't need to "supervise" them anymore, and Meatball is losing weight :D
I have to do the same. When I got Sasha she was a bit overweight... still is because she is use to free feeding.. she eats a little bit at a time. The problem is that my other two share a dish and scarf it down all at once and they try to go for sashas. I have to feed sasha seperately a few times per day. I do it out in the open and when the other two come running I shoo them away. They usually lay there and watch her eat. I can't leave her food out though or else they will finish it for her. :dis
 

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So, what do you think is your Siamese's ideal weight?

I have a medium sized 2.5 year old female Balinese. She is not petite, well fed, and she weighs 6.14. She weighs much less than my other cats because of her breed.

Most websites will state that male Siamese are supposed to weigh between 10-15 lbs, but unless the cat is the size of a bobcat, I think Siamese tend to weigh less. If Lacey were between 8-12 lbs, which is supposed to be the average for her breed, she'd be outright fat (round belly, can't reach her butt to groom herself, etc.). Siamesse are meant to be very slick, svelte cats.

I am putting this out because that way, you can start thinking about where you want to end up as far as your cat's weight.
 
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