Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fat Cats

So when I came downstairs this morning, the husband told me that I should go in and say hi to Romeo, and while I was at it, take his picture.  I gave him a really strange look, since that does seem like a strange request.

But this is what greeted me when I walked into the living room.

SOMEONE has an enormous belly.

Which brings me to the topic of my post.  Pets and dieting.

How do you do it?  I've had to focus this year on taking Argos the other way - he needed to gain weight, and it took quite a long time to get anything to stick to those ribs!  Two of our cats are still in the normal weight range.  Really, only Romeo and Charlotte are pudgy, and we're just going to let Charlotte be because of her medical condition.  Romeo is the only one that needs to go on a diet.

We knew this when we got him from the shelter in May.  In case we didn't figure it out for ourselves then, our vet told us the same thing.  But the diet that she recommended didn't work very well.  She recommended that we feed him 1/2 can of the gluten-free Fancy Feast canned cat food, twice a day.  We tried this...  and he inhaled the food each time, but then was hungry and crying for more.  I would come home from work and he'd have shredded and eaten large portions of the newspaper, and once he shredded and ate the monthly mortgage bill.  (I'm guessing that "my cat ate it" doesn't hold water with mortgage companies, else I'd be applauding his effort.)  Then he developed a bladder infection, partially due to stress, so we took him back off of the diet and let him go back to kibble. After we cleared that infection up, we put him back on the diet, only to have him start to get diarrhea and throw up.


So I admit it, we haven't tried to do much since then, especially since he at first was so unhappy about the other cats.

However, I think we've turned a corner with him.  Yes, he still has to be kept away from the other cats in general, but he has the entire first floor of the house to himself, and seems to be very happy with that arrangement.  He's affectionate with us, and tolerates/bordering on likes Argos, so those two get to "hang" together if we leave the house.  He gets to spend time with us when we're eating, watching t.v., relaxing in the living room, and he exercises a bit more since he has more space to move around in.  Just this week he became interested in playing!  (I never could get him to do it before, but now he likes playing with dangly toys.)  We let Charlotte downstairs a couple of times a day so that he does learn to deal with other cats, just for short amounts of time, and definitely not Bit, his primary tormenter.

So.  I feel like it's time that we put him back on a diet.  It's for his own good; I know that it isn't fair to let him remain obese.  So, any recommendations?  I'm willing to do the Fancy Feast diet again if we have to, but I'm guessing that for a kitty his size, a can daily was just not enough.  I'm open to suggestions!


  1. When our cat Max had a bit of an overweight issue our vet recommended Hills prescription w/d dry food. It probably wasn't the cheapest thing in the world, but he liked it fine and in time it seemed to do the trick. His appetite didn't change nor did the serving size, so he was happy. Of course all that changed once he had kidney failure.

    Now, my cat Theo is not on a diet but he thinks he is so he scavenges any bit of food he can find in the house, even if it is secured in plastic containers. One time he managed to open the securely latched bin of dry kibble and he feasted. When I discovered him he was still eating, I don't think he would have stopped on his own.

  2. I don't have any recommendations for cat diets - sorry! But Casey (the Lab) lost about 50 pounds since I met him. He was disgusting, and now he's trim. It was mostly portion control and healthy snacks - he thinks people food, even carrots or vegetables are cooler than dog treats.

    Good luck finding a diet that works with him!

    PS ~ I know you're busy with a ton of things so you don't have to participate, but I passed on a Stylish Blogger Award to you on my blog.

  3. I haven't had to put a cat on a diet. I did get a foster Greyhound whose family should have been strung up for the way they let her get. She looked like a stuffed sausage, just miserable in her own skin. It didn't help that the family who'd initially picked her up after her return had decided that she should only get one cup of food per day. What we did with her was give her the recommended amount of food based on what she should weigh and we didn't feed her anything from the table at all. Our hounds only get treats at bedtime after turn out, too. We also made sure that she walked every day, and she began to play with our dog at the local baseball diamond when we could get them up there. Sadly, the obesity took its toll. She was adopted by a wonderful, wonderful family and they did everything for her, including spending thousands of dollars at the U of I vet school when she began having back problems. I really believe the problems were caused by the extra weight she had to carry for too long. She died too young from complications of the back issues. I made a vow after that to really watch my pets' weight after that.

  4. Putting a cat on a diet is the hardest thing to do in the world!!!! Cats are so head strong!!! I have never been successful. I did have one that lost weight on the Hills prescription food.
    Good luck, you are going to need it!!
    xx, Fern

  5. Just like for us, it's really hard to put your pet on a diet! My dog does the same thing, she gets so hungry and pesters me constantly for food. One trick is to find healthy food they like. Kelly likes to eat carrots. I don't know what would work for a cat. Kelly lost weight, but it is always a challenge to keep the weight off. good luck!

  6. The only trick I know, is measuring out kibble for day for the weight you want him to be and that's all they get for the day. (I leave dry food out all day and they only get a spoonful of canned at night) I am starting to see improvements with my fat cat Boxer and it is keeping my other cat at a steady weight.

    And if he is starting to play, PLAY!! So glad to hear Romeo is coming around. That is so encouraging!!
    Good luck!

  7. Oh, my vet is the one who told me about measuring out dry food for the weight you want the cat to be. (As it shows on food bag)

  8. I can't really help you with that one, since the only cat I kept was a tiny little one with a gourmet appetite.

    If Romeo had problems with the diet food, I suggest you stop feeding it to him. We had serious problems with our dog because of the wrong food. And if he's up to it, exercise. Tie the dangly toy to a string and pull it around, trying to make him chase it. Good luck!

  9. We will probably try "feeding for weight" with his current kibble... our vet told us that she'd rarely seen cats lose weight on dry food, which is why I hadn't even tried that route yet. But maybe her patients were being overfed.

    Has anyone heard of Nulo? Or rather, have you heard pros and/or cons about it?

  10. Mom has this problem. Ivy is a bowling ball, Maestro is old and doesn't need to lose anymore weight than he already has and Mo is actually a little skinny. So, what to do??? Mom limits how much she puts out but has determined that with 6 cats and 2 adult fosters, it is too hard and complicated. Besides, Ivy keeps saying that she isn't overweight, she is undertall.

  11. My Mama sympathises and it's not the cat that needs a diet... or the dog for that matter. Poor Argos!


  12. If you are up for it, you might consider a raw diet. They can eat more because raw meat contains so much water, and because there are no fillers or anything else like grains that can convert to sugar, it's great for weight loss.

  13. Thanks for you visit to my blog!! Good seeing you again. We are having a beautiful day today. It is suppose to get up to 60 degrees!! A heat wave!!!
    The daffodil's will be coming up!! We have had so much cold here and we are so ready for warmer weather!!! We had the coldest December on record!
    January is going to come in at the 4th coldest!
    xx, Bambi & Fern

  14. Diets are always tough... sending you good luck thoughts!