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My cat is overweight
03-28-2016, 10:30 AM,
#1
krystianna Offline
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My cat is overweight
Hi everyone, I was hoping for some advice. I have a cat who is turning 5 in July. She is very hyperactive and loves to play. But she has been overweight for about three years now and I don't know what to do.

She gets fed twice a day, 1/4 scoop of dry food and a spoonful of wet food. I admit I hardly play with her because she often tries to attack my feet or hands.. and her claws are SHARP.

She lost a bit of weight recently because I moved out of my mom's house into an apartment where she can roam free instead of being stuck in my bedroom. She's a lot happier, too. But I want her to live a long and happy life. I feel really guilty for letting her get like this. If I had to guess, I would say she needs to lose 3 lbs.

I hope you guys can offer advice.. and please don't think poorly of me. I love her and I would do anything for my kitty!
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04-08-2016, 03:46 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-08-2016, 04:00 AM by remnant.)
#2
remnant Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
I suggest that you start by the general principles and facts about overweight. A good place to start is the diet. Are overfeeding it or feeding it on fatty foods? These should be substituted with healthy fats like say, avocadoes which have a healthy fat. What about exercise? This can be achieved by bringing in a companion preferably a kitten so as to be involved in play. You can also reduce the size of the meals while increasing fluids like soups and milk.

The best place to start is with the basics of the predisposing factors for overweight. It could be that you are feeding the poor thing on to much monosaturated fats? The best alternative is avocadoes. You could also bring in a companion so that she can benefit by exercise accruing from play. How about cutting her meal size and frequency accompanied by an increase in healthy foods like soups and milk? And if you have some extra cash to spare, you can take her for liposuction. Hope this helps.
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04-16-2016, 03:16 AM,
#3
Rachel101 Offline
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Smile  RE: My cat is overweight
We had the exact same issue with our cat, Panda. He is an apartment cat so doesn't get to roam free outside like most cats and therefore doesn't lose weight easily! We started him on some diet pet food which the vet suggested to us - didn't take too long for us to see results! It can be really hard though when they meow for more and you've already given them their portion Smile You have to be tough and remember that you're not starving them, you're loving them!

In regards to the sharp claws, you can buy nail clippers from pet stores which are great and easy to use. I highly suggest getting a laser light and turning all the lights off in your house and you'll watch your cat run around like crazy chasing it! Works so well to get them to exercise.

Best of luck!
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05-09-2016, 08:53 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-09-2016, 08:58 AM by kfander.)
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kfander Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
Having access to more space to move around in should help in time. I've always had cats and have had a few that were overweight for short periods of time, but usually around the age of twelve or thirteen, when their activity levels are down. When they get to be in their twenties, the problem reverses and you have to try to keep weight on them. I live in a small town, and I have a back yard, so my cats are able to go outdoors during the day, so that helps. When I have lived in places where they could not go outdoors, I did have to make time to play with them from time to time throughout the day, a favorite toy being Da Bird, which doesn't require a whole lot of work on my part, but cats love it.

I have not often had to limit the amount of food available for my cats though, and I have two that are twenty-six right now. I free-feed them kibble which, perhaps because it's always there, is not something that they feel the need to gorge. Then I split a can of food between the three cats twice a day.

One possible problem might be the food. Cats are made to eat primarily meat. Given a choice, cats don't eat things like corn, soy or wheat, and many cats don't digest it well. Yet, these are common ingredients in the less expensive brands of cat food. Because it doesn't contain much of the meat that they need, they eat a lot of it, much of which turns into fat, while a lot of the stuff their bodies can't use ends up in the litter box. Look for something that has meat as its main ingredient, including chicken, turkey, or other fowl. Cats digest fish well too but, given the problems with nuclear waste in the oceans these days, I worry that the fish used in pet foods may have high levels of stuff that isn't good for them. I do still feed them foods with fish, but not as much as I used to.

Look at the ingredients of whatever you're feeding them, and eliminate anything that uses corn, soy, wheat, gluten or by-products. By themselves, there's nothing so terribly wrong with by-products because cats in the wild wouldn't reject by-products, but the types of by-products that go into pet food is too often some pretty nasty stuff. In kibble, you will find some ingredients that cats wouldn't ordinarily eat, such as rice, potatoes or a variety of vegetables. Some of these ingredients are necessary in order to form the kibble, and do have some nutrient value. Brown rice is better than white rice, but rice shouldn't be the first ingredient. The first ingredient should always be meat, fish or fowl.

To a point, you get what you pay for. The best foods for your cat are probably going to cost more, but there are some fairly expensive foods that are nevertheless expensive, which is why it's important to read the ingredients. If you are on a budget and you have a Tractor Supply Company store near you, they have a line of premium foods at prices that will rival the cheap stuff, called 4Health. I use Blue Buffalo kibble because my cats like it and have done very well with it, but the ingredient list in the 4Health kibble and canned food is very good, and I do include the 4Health canned food in their rotation.

Switching from a grocery store brand food to a premium cat food has never been a problem for any of the cats that I have had, but it is often recommended to mix the new stuff with the old stuff for a couple of weeks to let them get used to the new stuff. When a cat is used to having to eat a lot of a food in order to get its minimum requirements of nutrition, they might continue to eat the same amount of food after you've switched them to a premium brand, and sometimes even more if they enjoy the taste.

Usually, this is temporary though. Within a few weeks or a month, their bodies will adjust, and they will realize that they don't have to eat so much. At that point, some people will wrongly assume that their cat doesn't like the new food because it's not eating as much of it, when the truth is that the cat's body realizes that it doesn't have to eat so much volume in order to get the necessary nutrition. The fact that most cats will eat less of a premium food than of a less nutritious food offsets the added cost of the premium food.

However, cats are individuals. Not every cat can be safely free-fed. I did have to quit free-feeding for a while, after taking in a cat that couldn't walk past the kibble without eating. I know that feeling, except for me it's refrigerators. The reason for a cat being overweight are usually pretty much the same as the reasons for a person being overweight. Either they are eating too much, eating the wrong things, or they aren't exercising enough, or a combination of these.
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06-14-2016, 08:29 PM,
#5
Novelangel Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
You state that your cat is hyperactive, that helps a lot in keeping a cat at a more normal weight, believe me. Having more room to run keeps the cat interested in being active. Play time is important as well. If you provide your cat with plenty of toys, such as catnip balls, toy mice... etc., she will likely play by herself to some extent. Also, like kfander mentioned above, cats that are free-fed, meaning the food is always available, really don't eat as much as some people might think. They typically don't gorge themselves, eating only what they really want. My cat can be very hyperactive herself, and has never been over- or underweight. She is perfect as far as I'm concerned... not all skin and bones and not obese either. In fact, she's quite muscular and I would much rather pet a cat who is "firmly" built rather than too thin. I hate touching animals that are all bony, regardless of what the "experts" might think of that condition. If I can feel every bump of the animal's spine, every rib, every joint... I feel like the poor animal is half-starved. I think it would help us help you, if we saw a picture of your kitty. That way, we could better see what we're giving advice about. Perhaps your cat isn't nearly as over-weight as you think she is. Also, remember that, just like people, each individual cat has her own ideal weight that she tends to reduce down to and then she won't lose much more than that.
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06-15-2016, 09:12 PM,
#6
HillCritters Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
I agree that exercise is the best thing that your cat can do to lose the weight. When I lived in the apartment, my cats basically just ate and slept. One of them was especially overweight and another one might have been a little overweight, but it was hard to tell because he has such long hair. Anyway, since I've been out on the farm, I let my cats outside for about an hour every day. It didn't take long for the cat that was overweight to lose those extra pounds. She is 10 years old this year and I know that she is healthier now because she gets to exercise and she doesn't just lay around. I have always kept dry cat food out all the time for my cats and I let them eat at will. They each just nibble on a few pieces at a time throughout the day and I've never had a problem with just one of them eating it all up. After they come in from playing outside, they all get a treat. I split a can of wet food between them all, so they get their treat, but they don't get too much at a time.

I think if you could spend some time playing with her every day, this would help her to lose the weight. Since you say you don't play with her much because of her sharp claws, you can get one of those cat toys that have something dangling on the end of a long stick. I don't know what these toys are called, but the cat will bat at and play with the toy at the end of the stick and this will keep your hands away from her sharp claws.
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06-21-2016, 04:56 AM,
#7
CatCuddler57 Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
You should get your cat one of those whips with a feather at the end of it that will force her to jump to catch it. That way you can play with her without risking your hands and feet. Also, you should get her something to climb on and a scratching post to stretch her muscles. If she doesn't drop some weight after a couple months, you might to send her to a veterinarian. Sometimes, cats can have thyroid or health problems that make it hard to lose weight. You might also need to change the food, if it has a lot of fillers. My cat lost his love handles when I switched from hard food to soft food because there was more meat in it. Sometimes cats can't handle the carbs in cat food because they are carnivores.
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06-26-2016, 11:14 PM,
#8
pwarbi Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
Whenever I see a cat that's overweight, I have to admit that I'm more likely to blame the owner than the actual animal itself for just being greedy for example. Cats are usually quite well disciplined when it comes to food and exercise, and they'll usually only eat until they are full, and they won't continue to carry on eating till the bowl is empty and then beg for more like dog's do. Indoor cat's are more prone to being overweight as they're obviously not getting the same amount of exercise as their outdoor counterparts. With that in mind, it's important to make sure that you're able to play with them more than you would with outdoor cats to make sure they are getting the exercise they need.
Checking the fat content and the nutritional information of the food is important also, and these days you can even buy cat food that's designed specifically for indoor cats, and while I've never used it so I couldn't tell you how good it is, if you're concerned about your cats weight then I'd suggest its defiantly worth a try as it is supposed to be a lot lower calories then the standard cat food.
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08-25-2016, 11:30 PM,
#9
rz3300 Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
Well like a lot of things in my life when it comes to weight of my cats it has varied a lot. Right now out little guy is probably the most fit cat that I have ever seen, and I never would have thought to describe a cat as muscular, but this guy is coming pretty close. That said, though, out last cat was quite the opposite towards the end. He ballooned up when he started to lay around all day, and event the vet told us to get him out more, but we just let him out which we thought was good, but then he would just go hide under the bushes and eat some more. Not much you can do, though, except try. Thanks for sharing.
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08-26-2016, 11:28 PM,
#10
Tom1 Offline
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RE: My cat is overweight
Chаnging hеr fооd соuld аlsо imprоvе hеr wеight. Hаvе yоu еvеr соnsidеrеd switсhing tо а nаturаl оr rаw diеt? It's impоrtаnt tо dо yоur rеsеаrсh but mаny pеt оwnеrs (mysеlf inсludеd!) swеаr by thе bеnеfits оf а rаw оr соmplеtеly nаturаl diеt dеvоid оf simplе саrbоhydrаtеs аnd аnimаl by-prоduсts. It саn bе еxpеnsivе, but whеn yоu соnsidеr thаt а hеаlthy wеight will grеаtly rеduсе hеr сhаnсеs оf illnеss dоwn thе rоаd it's wеll wоrth it.
Thаt sаid, it's аlsо pоssiblе thаt hеr wеight gаin аnd "lаzinеss" аrе symptоms оf аnоthеr undеrlying issuе, suсh аs hypоthyrоidism. If yоu hаvеn't аlrеаdy tаkеn hеr fоr а rоutinе blооd tеst, аn аppоintmеnt with yоur vеtеrinаriаn mаy bе in оrdеr.
оnе thing yоu shоuld tаkе intо соnsidеrаtiоn is thаt rеduсing hеr mеаls bеlоw rесоmmеndеd sеrvings sizеs соuld rеsult in vitаmin аnd nutriеnt dеfiсiеnсiеs--еspесiаlly соnsidеring hеr аgе. Sо whilе kееping hеr wеight dоwn is impоrtаnt fоr hеr оvеrаll hеаlth, dоn't lеt thаt gеt in thе wаy оf hеr dаily dоsе оf vitаmins аnd nutriеnts!
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